My life departed from the lyrical path of John Mellencamp shortly after I was born in a small town. These days, I'm parked up in the suburbs of Auckland. Which puts me, according to Expedia's "State of the Nation" report, released to Herald Travel today, into a pretty shallow demographic.
According to Expedia's survey, us city slickers are more likely to try and outdo family and friends when planning our next holiday - 16 per cent of city dwellers compared with nine per cent of country folk rate this kind of vacationers' one-upmanship as important.
We townsfolk also put greater importance on being the first among our family and friends to visit a destination than regional Kiwis (24 per cent compared with 15 per cent). Keeping up with - and surpassing - the Joneses seems to matter. And, inevitably, having the attention span of gadflies we're more influenced in making our holiday decisions by things that we've seen on social media (22 per cent compared with 17 per cent).
Other than being open to advice from social media (I'll take everything from recipes to horse-racing tips from Twitter), these aren't holiday-planning traits I'd readily admit to.
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I'll take a sympathetic view of the self-selecting poll and guess that urban Kiwis are simply more likely to admit to these traits. In a small town, the stoic values might be more desired than achieved.
Bar/fly bags top award
Writer Daniel Scott has won an award for one of his fine pieces that he wrote for Herald Travel. Scott's Bar/fly piece on the pubs of Wimbledon (Travel, April 22) - an affectionate return to past haunts - was named by the Australian Society of Travel Writers as their Best International Story Under 1000 Words. The award category was sponsored by Macau.
He's right, they're cracking pubs, at their best when spilling full on a summer evening, and it's a cracking yarn.
For more on the awards and to check out the winners from other categories, go to astw.org.au.