Last year, I was subject to a weird phenomenon. After returning from a two-week odyssey through Germany and Denmark, I found stories about the places I’d visited everywhere, as in my favorite magazines and newspaper. Not just the usual centuries-old tourist attractions, mind you: very specific places (a cultural center in Leipzig) and people (a noted typographer). It was weird.
So far this year my magazine subscriptions are only imitating other people’s lives.
Take Travel + Leisure magazine‘s April issue with its story on Icelandic cuisine. Sounds fairly random, right? As it happens, a good buddy of mine just got back from Iceland. A gorgeous postcard arrived today, as did a link to a gallery of his stunning photos of glaciers, lakes and geysers.
(This is the same buddy, by the way, whose upcoming Istanbul trip came to mind as I read a recent issue of Forbes Life magazine, so you can see where a certain degree of envy–at his joie de vivre and itineraries–is understandable.)
So, with Iceland on the brain, I opened Travel + Leisure to find fantastic images of Nordic vistas, interiors, and a cuisine that requires a curious palette, if not acquired tastes for reindeer, pickled berries and the like.
Honestly, I knew this subscription was likely to have me mentally packing my bags and plotting my next trips, I just didn’t expect such a bizarre coincidence. Though it has become increasingly popular, and last year’s volcanic eruption certainly made people more aware of the country, Iceland isn’t exactly England or France, or even Costa Rica when it comes to ubiquitous travel destination.
Yet the same defiantly, vibrantly painted structures I’d just viewed on my monitor were laid out on glossy page after glossy page as I read through the magazine. Thus, magazines imitating life–and feeding travel envy.