Go back down that Yellow Brick Road

by Heddi Cundle / Nov 07, 2011 / 0 comments

It’s quite a common trait for us to not relive a trip we once took that was so fantastic. Mainly because people say we’ll jinx ourselves the second time around and everything will fall apart, it’ll be the worst memory lane trip ever and a huge disappointment. I’m a big believer that if you love a place so much, why deny yourself the inspiration of re-visiting it and seeing it through new eyes. I’m not talking about taking a trip to the same place every September for the next 5 years. I’m talking about hopping back over to that wonderful city you adored, a few years after you 1st went. I did that once in Prague! I’d visited Prague with student friends in 1990, when it was still Czechoslovakia and I have a huge visa entry stamp in my passport to prove it. I fell in love with the Charles Bridge, walking around Wenceslas Square and oogling the huge lines of locals waiting to buy a loaf of bread. I was mesmerized by the Jewish Museum, that Prague stores still sold 4 button Levis (it’s now 5 button) for around $3 and we had to exchange approx $7 worth of British pounds a day to Koruna to help the economy strengthen. A huge meal cost 2 Koruna so you can imagine that we ate like pigs (or kings, depending on your imagination) in Prague.


Bounce now to 1997, when I worked for CME, a US-based company that owned & operated commercial TV & Radio stations in ‘Eastern’ Europe. TV Nova was one of our brands and it was doing amazingly well in the now renamed Czech Republic. The American infiltration of businesses were starting to boom at this same time and the prices of everything cheap in 1990’s Prague, were now not the same rock bottom rates. Now compared to London prices, Prague was still dirt cheap but when I arrived in the city for a few days of work meetings, I was still floored with the changes. I really thought I was a maven and knew exactly where everything was – streets, cafes, transportation routes. What actually transpired over those 7 years since my last visit was a total memory loss and instead, a fabricated image of a city I thought I knew. So it was fantastic to get lost again, wander around streets I vaguely remembered and bring back my memory to life. That’s what I was loving. The idea of being back in a city I loved yet seeing it clearly with new eyes as it’d changed over the years.


So I’m telling you seriously go back down that yellow brick road and relive a place for the second time around to see the difference. It’ll be a whole new way to view that city and start afresh. I now proudly have both Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic visa stamps in two different passports. That, in itself, is enough to validate how much a country can change!

Heddi is the Social Butterfly Travel Editor for Wandering Educators