That Summer: our series of escapes to long ago and far away

What we did on our holidays, and what our holidays did to us

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 17 April 2020 10:04 BST
Is there a summer that's stayed with you for the summers since?
Is there a summer that's stayed with you for the summers since? (Getty Images)

Joy and anger, triumph and disaster, passion and tears: a typical day on the travel desk of The Independent, perhaps, but also the range of emotions that travelling generates.

In the now-distant summer of 1994, the-then Weekend Editor, Stephen Wood, conceived a series called simply, That Summer. It became a collection of voyages of discovery for the soul.

Memories are distorted by time and distance, and prone to fading. But I bet you have taken at least one journey where your mental snapshots and soundbites remain strangely vivid even many summers later.

Each of us has experienced a holiday more intense, probably more daunting than all the others: when you first tasted freedom, when you discovered a passion for travel and quite possibly a fellow traveller, when the world changed your world for good.

“The past is a foreign country,” wrote LP Hartley in The Go-Between. “They do things differently there.”

At a time when travellers find themselves in the most reduced of circumstances, make your escape to long ago and far away.

Read the first pieces of the series here.

That Summer: Falling in love under the blue Madonna in Sicily in 1987

That Summer: Braving the borders of a new Siberia in 1995

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