Why familiarity sometimes breeds contempt!

If you look up any dictionary meaning of cliché, it reads something along the lines of ‘… a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought …’ I think that that is a rather harsh interpretation myself. Clichés become clichés simply because they’re true and represent the most succinct and accurate way of describing a particular concept. The above title is a particular case in point. I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance of mine who was about to embark on a weeks’ break in Tenerife and was bemoaning the fact that they weren’t going to their usual holiday destination of the Far East, claiming that the week in Tenerife wasn’t really a holiday at all. It struck me that there can be a degree of snobbishness that attaches itself to certain destinations such that the further you travel the more exotic a destination must necessarily be or that if it’s too close it correspondingly can’t be! Surely, every destination is intrinsically exotic or not , entirely on its own merits and not on the location it happens to find itself on a map — hence the title of today’s blog. The fact of the matter is that Tenerife — despite its relative proximity to us in Europe — is still one of the most exotic and amazing destinations in the world, bar none. I had my honeymoon in Tenerife back in 1979 when you could only fly into Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the Island and more than 30 years elapsed before I managed to make a return visit there a few years ago. The second time, I was able to fly into the south of the Island and based myself in the Costa Adeje area which hugely impressed me! Indeed it impressed me so much that I am returning there next week to research the area some more and conduct some site inspections for possible future programmes.

The fact of the matter is that Tenerife has it all — amazing scenery that ranges from sub-tropical beach locations to alpine scenery that wouldn’t look out of place in Austria to desert to moon-like landscapes (many astronauts conduct training here because of the huge similarity of the landscape to what they can expect to find on our lunar cousin!). It has great infrastructure in terms of hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities in general and a modern, first-world road infrastructure — things that you don’t always get when you travel to more ‘exotic’ destinations. It’s relative proximity helps a lot with flights taking just over four hours to get here from Ireland as no one wants to spend more time on a plane than they have to, no matter how nice the in-flight catering!

Of course the weather is still the single biggest draw given that the Canaries enjoy year-round sunshine and pleasant temperatures in the Seventies and beyond. OK, it is very popular and yes, many people from Ireland still holiday there but those are surely not reason enough to exclude it from  your short-list of worthwhile destinations to visit? Everything is relative you know and whilst a trip to the Caribbean seems exotic to us because of its distance and our lack of familiarity with it, it is perceived as something a little less exotic by the North Americans who vacation there, simply because it is more or less on their doorstep. To them, Tenerife and its sister islands seem exotic.

In Tenerife, we have one of the most amazing holiday destinations in our backyard (relatively speaking) and we should not allow our familiarity with the destination to sell it short. See it for what it is: a holiday paradise that has possibly everything that you could want, and all just four hours flying time from Dublin, Cork or Shannon.

Tenerife Trivia # 1: Did you know that Tenerife is the most densely populated of all Spain’s islands with almost 900,000 inhabitants living within a land mass that is just over 2,000 square kilometres in area?

Tenerife Trivia # 2: Did you know that Tenerife hosts one of the world’s largest carnivals?

Tenerife Trivia # 3: Did you know that Mount Teide is the third largest volcano in the world, when measured from its base?

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