It’s that time of the year again. It starts small. There’s a poster in the window of the travel agent you pass every day on the way to work. Then a photograph of a wood as your screen saver. One morning, a sudden flashback of a landscape you may have seen through a train window sometime. Your shower starts to sound like a waterfall. Maps start to become 3D. Suddenly, the internet is buzzing with anticipation, the emails are full of plans, the travel sites are full of advice.
The travelling world seems to be divided between Lonely Planet enthusiasts and Everyone Else. What inspires this “love it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it” reaction? The price? I used to be one of those who took the price as a personal insult to my ancestors, descendants, hometown and myself, until I had to plan a budget holiday in Scandinavia. After exhaustively researching Norway on the Internet and exhaustingly sifting through folklore for a month, I began to see why a Lonely Planet is worth its weight in gold.
But browsing through a row of Lonely Planets in a bookshop is as bad as looking at an atlas. You change your mind every 30 seconds. It could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome, cause Rotterdam is anywhere, anywhere but here.
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