Local will always be lekker
Once or twice a year, I find myself on a stage with the other magazine editors in Media24’s Lifestyle Division as we chat with our advertising and business partners about future trends in travel, beauty, fashion, health and fitness. I’m always blown away by the insights of my colleagues, especially considering how murky the future looks at the moment. As the American baseball player Yogi Berra famously said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Berra was the master of the malapropism. Other famous gems include, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it” and “It’s déjà vu all over again”. But he also said, “The future ain’t what it used to be”, and in the time of Covid-19, this actually does make sense.
A week ago I was in front of an audience again with my colleagues from Fairlady,
Sarie, Women’s Health, Tuis/Home, True Love and Men’s Health as we tried to make sense of a future very different to the one we had imagined just six months previously. This time our stage was a digital one – we were part of a virtual event with 450 people watching, listening and interacting with us via their computers and mobile phones.
One of the things that struck me about this fascinating experience was how important local businesses, products and consumers will be in the uncertain future we all face.
Local travel has always been lekker in our world, and it will become even more so. The pandemic hasn’t dulled our need for travel – if anything, being confined to our homes for so long has increased our yearning to explore. As soon as travel restrictions are lifted, people will get into their cars and go somewhere. They’ll rediscover our exceptional national parks and private nature reserves, and they’ll fall in love with camping and hiking again. Adventurous self-drive tours to wild places, designed for local tastes and wallets – like our 13-day travel plan for Moremi and Chobe in Botswana on p 28 – will be more popular than ever before.
Escaping to nature, with as little human interaction with strangers as possible, will become paramount. Rock concerts are out, but sitting on a rock watching the sun set will be in. I’m okay with that. Our focus at go! has always been to provide honest travel advice about local, affordable destinations, away from the madding crowds. In return, you’ve rewarded us with your trust and support. Thank you.
I’ll close with a final word from the mighty Yogi: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”
We’ll do our best to make sure you get there!