13 July 2012

Vacation criteria for architects

How to choose your next vacation destination with a supposed architectural mindset, from Architectural Record's think | architect blog:
  1. Rule out Disneyland, any beach and camping. These places are off limits (this is mostly my rule).
  2. Choose a general location based on where you have not been yet.
  3. Choose a location based on architecture you have not seen yet. (Why do you go on vacation?)
  4. Choose a specific location based on restaurants you have not eaten at yet and don’t have at home.
  5. Choose a location that has a history that precedes the century your parents were born.
  6. Visit places that you cannot see anything like at home.
  7. Find places that allow you to sight-see without needing a car. In other words, you’ll need to walk (or use public transportation) for some part of your vacationing plans.
  8. Find places that will make for great photographs.
  9. Find places that have unique bookstores and coffee shops.
  10. And last, but probably most important, choose places that make your family happy (without breaking the first rule).
I would disagree with #1, #2 (... what about family?), and #5, although I do prefer older locales.  And in thinking about my own vacation-planning habits, here are some ways how Marcus and I pick out our honeymoon destination:
  1. Determine the area of the world that you most want to explore -- either one of you has never been there, or one of you really wants to go back. [Europe]
  2. Choose countries based on burning personal interests. [France, the UK]
  3. Choose specific locations while balancing places you would love to return to vs. places (architectural or otherwise) you have not been yet but have wanted to go to for a while... along with the time frame and budget.  [Paris, Mont St. Michel, London, Edinburgh]
  4. Hone the itinerary by concentrating on visiting a few places for longer periods of time, and choosing areas with unique local culture, food, and sights.  [Paris, Mont St. Michel, Glasgow, Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh]
  5. Confirm your choices based on local events and the number of tourists who will be there at that time.  [New Year's in Paris; Tourist sights advise going to Scotland only between May and October.  Check.]
  6. Find activities that will make for awesome photographs. ['Stalking' in the Highlands, Mont St. Michel at low tide, Parisian cemeteries]
  7. Ask for recommendations on good food, unique bookstores and coffee shops, off-the-beaten path sights, that sort of thing.
  8. Choose places that the both of you can agree on and get excited about.  [Check!]
  9. Don't get uptight about the rules.  It's not a rational process, after all.