Have you ever heard “These Foolish Things”? The song recounts a long list of sights, sounds, and objects that conjure up memories of loved ones. Take a listen here. With a nod to this popular standard, go back to that restaurant you enjoyed together. Return to the hotel. And if, for you, this idea involves getting into nature, consider the enormous emotional benefits I write about in Passed and Present that stem from being outdoors (Forget Me Not #85).
As I write this post, a Blizzard Watch is in effect for New York City, and a large section of the mid-Atlantic is bracing for a “potentially paralyzing” storm. This kind of weather makes me fantasize about heading someplace warm and drives me to think about travel in general. Ecotourism. Adventure travel. Volunteer tourism. Specialized travel allows us to build entire trips around particular needs and interests — caring for endangered animals, jumping out of airplanes, building schools in developing countries. Why not plan a vacation around honoring our connections to the past?
What do we call a trip that speaks to the desire to celebrate loved ones in the company of like-minded people? Let’s call it Commemorative Travel.
Nearly every culture has a unique way to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away. Below are my top five travel destinations where you can weave acts of remembrance into an already awesome and fun vacation.