From a lovely balcony on the third floor of a rather large hotel in Olhos De Agua, Portugal, I read a passage from my Lonely Planet guidebook that went something like this: if you are reading this while sitting on a balcony of a rather large hotel in Olhos De Agua, Portugal, you are an idiot because the aforementioned balcony cannot be lovely as it is made out of nothing but dirty concrete just like everything else that surrounds you.
|“We are destined to lose dad!”|
Not the best £20 I have ever spent on a book, I thought (if I really wanted to feel like an idiot, I would have simply reread “How Not to Write a Novel” which was the subject to my rant in Revision is Four Letter Word). I pondered our decision to chase the sun down to the Algarve for a quiet few days. The idea was spontaneous, the hotel was fantastic, and the price was reasonable. All of a sudden, I felt like I should have opted for a trip with an emphasis on culture and discovery, rather than sun and bubbly™.
I lifted my nose out of the shiny pages and looked out over my long toes towards the ocean. I mumbled “consider the source.” It didn’t really make that much sense, then or now, but believe you me it made me feel better. I suggest that anytime you are in a cataclysmic brain knot, even the self-induced and solo variety, try it. Trust me, “consider the source” puts you in control (try it now, and this post will seem ludicrous, which it is but consider…doh!).
|Olhos De Agua, a concrete jungle?|
The book went into my briefcase and did not surface for the rest of our short jaunt. Once in a while you just need to put yourself out there sans guidance – even if it leads you down the sun and bubbly path (plus you get to use “sans”). Do what you enjoy in the moment, and assuming you are a decent traveler who cares about the people around you, make no apologies for doing it. Bam trusty little book, you just got [edited].
P.S. – responsible tourism is both vital and viral, and with this in mind this rant is simply my opinion that sometimes it is okay to resort to resorts and not feel like a tool for doing it!