Experiential Travel: Shopping As Destination
You read it right, Shopping as Destination is now a Thing.
Whether you are going to exotic Tahiti or the not-so-exotic cyber world online, the very idea of shopping brings up the warm and fuzzies for some of us, while others claim dread and trepidation.
Do you love bargain hunting for basics at your local grocery store?
or would you rather use an online service that both picks out items and delivers to your door at your convenience?
Either way, if you choose to accept it, shopping can now be a destination.
Think about it – on a rainy day, you huddle into your favorite cozy chair with a cup of hot cocoa, a fire in your real or fake fireplace and your trusty computer on your lap.
You and your partner can shop all over the world for that new sofa, then have it delivered for free, with 100% satisfaction guarantee and free shipping.
If cozy is not exciting, and you crave to touch, smell, see & taste your potential acquisitions, there are plenty of articles for Shops Worth Traveling the World For.
I have my own list, including Seattle’s Pike Place Market. This photo is from a recent stop, made after the most perfect Alaska Cruise.
There was something so satisfying about the experience of sipping fresh local cider, the utter enjoyment of that cool, fragrant liquid on a hot day in a crowded market. Bonus: The vendor lets you self-serve, encouraging you to try all of the flavors before making a final decision.
So you go to Pisac in Peru to shop in the famed Marketplace. You haggle with a señorita to purchase her handmade shirt for less than you would pay if you found it in a high end international marketplace, elsewhere. Why did you do that? If not for you, she lives in poverty and makes all of $12 a year. That’s another story. Moving on….
What about Malls? One of the largest Malls in the world is right here in King of Prussia Pennsylvania. Simon wants it to be your Destination Mall. Luxury franchise stores from all over the world test their trendiest concepts at their “flagship” store, here. Waves of Japanese tourists shuffle through a pipeline of buses, as if this were a World Heritage Site.
In places like India, it may not be so posh, but it has it’s own excitement…like the excitement of just getting to the local Bazaar. You can go by camel, rickshaw, utility truck, tourist bus or watch it all from your car, while expertly chauffeured by your driver.
So why was I taken aback by an article I saw today in a recent travel journal hoping to lure you into traveling to a faraway country just to shop?
There are ramifications to this concept. I invite your opinion in comments below.
What does shopping as destination bring to mind for you?
What ramifications do you feel it may have?
We are producing a madly non-sustainable consumer culture.
Could thinking about shopping as destination be contributing to that culture?
I may be opening a dialog on this subject. But, more than that, I hope you will simply think about it.