A quiet day on the blog while I take advantage of today's designation as a "Day to Read", being promoted by a number of sites. And, just in case you find yourself without something to read, I'll add a link for the day to Amanda's latest post about "what to do if you're traveling too much".
"Where luxury once meant chandeliers, champagne, and staff on tap, it now means privacy, independence, and chocolate-covered strawberries."
There is a category of magazines that deals with aspirational lifestyles: once described as being "dedicated to clothes you'll never wear, people you'll never meet, cars you'll never drive, and parties you'll never be invited to." In general, I don't give them a second thought.
I do, however, have a weakness for the Aspirational Travel Mag.
Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure, the Sunday Times Travel (the quote above is theirs) are my favorite bits of fluff to curl up with on a long flight. Further down my list come CNN Traveler, National Geographic Travel, and Frommers (although I swear by their guidebooks). And no, sorry, I've never warmed to Rick Steves like so many Americans (even though he's a fellow Seattle-ite).
The fun of these aspirational magazines is that they are filled with completely accessible aspriations. It's not hard to imagine standing where they've taken a picture, staying in a recommended hotel, or enjoying one of their idyllic meals. I usually come back with several torn-out pages in my shoulder bag that I use to help me remember towns to visit, or to find some out-of-the way spot that would make a great getaway. While most have online versions, I much prefer the big glossy pages, filled with pictures of clear blue seas and deep green forest.
As the Times says, "Be informed. Be inspired. Be there."