Back to the 90s: summer holidays in the age of millennials!

woman looking at the map

I’m sure that many of you are already thinking about summer holidays. You’re looking for the most instagrammed beach, the most tagged place, the city recommended by that influencer, the hotel that has appeared a thousand times on Facebook among the sponsored ads. About twenty years ago all this would have seemed surreal to us. A scene from an apocalyptic film about the world of the future!

Technology certainly is a big step forward. Few of us still remember the magic of summer holidays in the nineties, the thrill of searching for a destination with the few means available, traveling by car while singing together!

If you too happen to leaf through old photo albums or find some old telephone cards dusting in the drawers, get on board, destination “the 90’s”!

Part 1: planning & suitcase

Traveling by plane was a luxury reserved for a few. Families relied on their own car which was loaded thoroughly so as not to waste even an inch of space. The exotic destinations left room for fifteen days at the seaside, spent in hotel, always the same from year to year, or more often in camping. The more “intrepid” ones went north to spend a week in the cool mountains!

Whatever the destination, one thing was certain: traveling without a map was unthinkable! There was no Google maps and it was necessary to plan distances, stages and times in advance. And if you happened to take a wrong turn, the best way to get back on the correct route was… to ask a passer-by!

The suitcases were very basic, often made of leather and we only brought the essentials. For a beach holiday a must was the sporty Baywatch one-piece swimsuit!

Indispensable for capturing memories was the camera, now replaced by smartphones. It came with rolls of 24 or 36 photos or even disposable and even the video camera, huge, bulky, very different from modern go-pros! Once back, the camera rolls were delivered to the photographer. It took about two weeks to develop them and in that time we continued to travel through memories, hoping that those photographs would make our experience indelible and were clear and not blurry.

Part 2: the journey

Once we got into the car, we knew that the journey would not be short. But that part of the vacation was exciting too!

Music couldn’t be missing and I’m sure that every family had their own personal compilation. People usually recorded the hits of the moment on cassettes which they then listened to the car radio. The journey was a choral, shared experience. It could happen that someone chose to listen to something else using walkman and headphones, but it rarely happened!

Breakfast was eaten in the car. No soy milk, smoothies or wholemeal croissants: we ate packaged snacks or crackers and a fruit juice!

Part 3: the holidays

The seaside holidays began with queuing at the telephone booth. Grandparents at home had to know that the trip had gone well! Everyone had a group of friends they couldn’t wait to hug again, with whom organized the day by making appointments “orally” and not on a WhatsApp group!

The meeting point was generally the bar. The main activities were table football or ping pong challenges played with background music from the juke box! We moved to the beach to play volleyball and five-a-side football matches and any other improvised activity on the spot. So the time passed, eating an ice cream or a lollipop, always too quickly. In an instant the sunset arrived. We usually rested under a single umbrella, doing crosswords with the stereo on. And the others who complained about the volume too loud!

In the evening we observed the stars by the sea, imagining the future, we lived the moment with extreme intensity and continuous comparison.

The day before departure, at the campsite bazaar, we bought stamps and postcards for friends, which were handwritten and which took several days to reach their destination, once placed in the letterbox where the post was collected once a week.

Generations “Z” and “Alpha”, this is not a movie, it’s all true! Peers: do you ever take a trip back in time with teary eyes thinking about memories?!

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