Eva excitedly tore into the long awaited package that held the most innovative, must have, technologically advanced travel brochures. They were very expensive but considering the cost of the wedding it was a small price to pay and was definitely worth it.
In less than six months she would be married to her childhood sweetheart Leland, and all the details of the wedding had been carefully planned for months and arrangements completed except for the honeymoon. This was a matter of considerable concern, as they had very different ideas on where to spend their precious two weeks.
Most travel brochures and videos were old-fashioned, limited to sight and sound and lacked the ability to convey the essence of a city or the serenity of a lush tropical resort. She wanted to be able to feel, smell and yes, even taste the destinations before making such an important, once in a lifetime decision.
As she opened the first brochure Adventures in the Amazon she slowly ran her hand over the glossy 3D page to unlock is secrets. The cacophony of the forest cicadas mating calls suddenly exploded in her small living room accompanied by the musty smell of rain drenched alluvial soil that filled her nostrils. “There must be a way to lower the volume,” she thought aloud, desperately searching for an unseen icon. Quickly she moved on to the top of the page where a thunderous waterfall cascaded from the mountain top. Its sound drowned out the noisy insects and a cool mist rose and swirled above her as its rainbow arched clear to the wall.
She then reached out to touch the beautiful scarlet macaw with its fiery red, sky blue and sunburst yellow coloring. She stroked its silken plumage when suddenly the parrot turned its head, looked directly in her eyes and welcomed her by name in a less than melodious screech.
Turning the page she felt the soothing calm of darkness. The ultra exclusive Five Seasons Hotel featured its iconic restaurant nestled high in the forest tree-tops, lit only by candlelight. The eclectic menu beckoned her to sample their award winning cuisine. She selected the fresh seafood including piranha, yellow curry with young coconut milk and locally harvested herbs and spices. It was simply divine! But not enough to win her over. She skimmed through the rest of the brochure which displayed the typical excursions: hiking, white water rafting and escorted visits to indigenous tribe’s villages, all brilliantly enhanced. However, there’s a vast difference between being an armchair traveler, like Leland, and physically immersed into the thick of things. Notably absent were the Amazon’s ubiquitous malari- infected mosquitoes and poisonous snakes. Hopefully this would change his mind as she dismissively tossed the brochure aside.
“Now to my pick”……..Eva carefully opened the South Sea Island Resort brochure that catered to honeymooners. When she caressed the powder white sand a hologram of shimmering lights danced before her as her fingertips were warmed by the sun’s reflection.. “Why it must be 90 degrees there.” A welcome reprieve from the usually overcast foggy 60 degree San Francisco weather. Activating the crystal clear turquoise lagoon its soft rhythmic waves came alive……..mesmerizing!
The idyllic island proudly showcased its natural beauty. She listened to tropical breezes rustling through giant bamboo in concert with the song of wooden chimes. Silken orchids, of every imaginable color, each with its nuanced aroma filled her room with exotic perfumes.
Evening Tiki Lights announced the start of Luau’s on the beach with the pungent smell of barbeque, emanating from wood fire pits. Her stomach rumbled. “Gee, I can’t remember when we ate out last.” The main attraction was the popular, Over the Water Bungalows with first class service–catered via kayak–that delivered exotic breakfasts and provided luxurious en suite couples massages. This was definitely the place!
She glanced at the other brochures which featured the usual European tourist spots. Although all were exciting they were too crowded with the hustle and bustle, and presumed suffocating pollution, of major cities. Perhaps sometime in the future–maybe an anniversary trip. Leland would certainly understand. After all, honeymoons were supposed to be about romance and privacy.
On the inside of the back cover, in addition to the usual disclaimers, patent information, copyrights, etc. was a short bio of the inventor of InnoACTIVE Travelogues. Accessing the link Eva was surprised to see a hologram appear; not of a 20ish Silicon Valley IT nerdy guy, but a grey haired grandmotherly pie-baking matriarch type.
“Greetings, thank you for selecting my travel brochure. I hope you enjoyed it. For many years I travelled the world extensively until I was no longer able to do so. This motivated me to capture many of those memories through all of our five senses and The Travelogues became a product of nostalgia.”
Linda Ho (aka The Inventor)–“Originally from New York I relocated to Florida and spent the next 30 years as a professional in the health care field. After retiring I signed up for a variety of OLLI classes. Since then I’ve enjoyed many of the diverse and interesting courses that OLLI offers ranging from politics and science to art and especially to writing. The Imaginative Writing Course connected me with Marilyn who invited me to join her “crew” of writers. It’s been an adventurous ride ever since!”