memories of the ’80s – where did the jetsetters go?

In the decade that focused on big hair, bold clothing and and excess, so did the travel choices.

Travellers in this decade were all about the United States of America, thanks to the power of television and media, which meant we all aspired to go clubbing in New York City and have access to the high end lairs of Beverly Hills.

We event got interested in cuisine in a new way – it was all about skinny pizza and sushi and the first chef name we all knew – Wolfgang Puck – who was redefining California cuisine for the A list and then the masses.

But travellers did leave the confines of North America – Japan was seen as an emerging spot to lose oneself in the culture (no doubt fueled by the tv mini series Shogun based on the popular novel by James Clavell), a fascination for West Berlin (as the Cold War heated and cooled between Reagan and Gorbachev) and on the wildly exotic Thailand, which had become a consideration for those wanting a new paradise.

Cruises became all the rage, as the upper middle class could start sailing and the industry started to grow, encouraging travellers to traverse the Mediterranean and Caribbean by ship to see the assortment of hot spots. Multiple countries in one trip – now that seemed like the perfect way to travel in this decade.

But one continent got a lot of attention – Australia. Thanks to the popular culture’s focus on all things Aussie like the endless amounts of contemporary music from INXS and Men at Work we also had the infamous Crocodile Dundee in the form of Paul Hogan.

We were fascinated with the land downunder and it was added to the bucket lists of many of a highschool student, who wanted to disappear into the clutches of Sydney for a year, learn to cook prawns on the barbie and come back with the accumulated knowledge of a place that seemed to be the new wild west.


About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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