Monday, 12 April 2010

'Luxuriate' no more. Forever 'Escape'.

Next time you flick through a glossy holiday brochure or search for a deal on a travel website, note the frequency with which certain verbs are crammed into the headers, captions and hotel descriptions. 'RELAX and UNWIND', 'BASK' and 'INDULGE', you'll be encouraged. These fluffy verbs may well be overused in travel copywriting, but by tapping into physical factors (stress, warmth, imbibing) they'll probably work their magic and have you heading off to the sun to do just what they suggest.

But can I ask? Am I the only traveller (and travel editor) who can't help but recoil, quickly retracting my credit card, at the sight of that most fiendish of travel-related verbs...LUXURIATE (vb: enjoy as a luxury)? Certainly, we can all 'enjoy as a luxury' a fragrant bubble bath at home on a wet Wednesday evening, or a cheeky glass of champers before catching a train from London St Pancras. But for me, the act of travel deserves more substantive verbs - those that span the breadth of the linguistic spectrum, from the majestic to the downright primal.

Travel for most of us will always be a financial ‘luxury’, but portraying it in bling, diamond encrusted terms alone does a disservice to travel and to the destinations visited. Better to use 'escape' - perhaps a primal verb that rings the truest in even the soapiest of travel copy. Escape from the city, escape from the winter, escape the kids, escape the daily grind, escape the artificially-lit hanger where you work your nine-to-five, or escape the fallout from a very messy break up.

The urge to escape is nothing short of instinctive. Running away often feels like the only available option. Travel is that escape, allowing space to regroup, pick up the pieces and let the infinite opportunities that are available out there, in the big wide world, smack us between the eyes and lift us out of the latest dark, dank pit of despair.

Feeling claustrophobic; incarcerated by your everyday life? Look out for Sandwagon's short and sweet list of classic escapes, picked for those times when getting away is less of a want and more of a need. Coming next.

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