Meme Watch: The Hundred Mile Holiday

100 mile vacation niagara falls

Within a hundred miles of home

Four years ago the Tyee published an article by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon called Living on the 100-Mile Diet; it became a meme, a successful book and a television show. Now the Tyee is in the meme biz again, with the Hundred Mile Holiday which sounds a lot less ugly and more fun that "Staycation." Nick Smith explains:

try convincing your friends that your "tourist in your own city" plans are exciting after they have emailed you pictures of their house exchange in Europe. Or break it to your kids that you are going to Playland instead of Disneyland and see if they jump for joy.

100 mile vacation finger lakes

Nick compares it to the hundred mile diet.

Perhaps, together, we can begin to reframe local travels in the same way that The Hundred Mile Diet and the Slow Food Movement recast our assumptions regarding local cuisine. In less than a generation we have learned that B.C. producers can craft chevre and pinot gris that rival those produced abroad. More importantly though, we have discovered arugul and mizuna, chanterelles and pine mushrooms, mussles and albacore tuna -- that chefs and producers have begun to promote specifically because they do well in this environment.

So what we are getting at here is rethinking our vacation plans in the way that many have rethought their diets, so that they reflect sustainability while fostering knowledge of place.

100 mile vacation buffalo

Of course a hundred mile vacation is a lot easier in Vancouver than it is in, say, Fargo, but people said that about the 100 mile diet and people still tried it just about everywhere. Where I live, within a hundred miles are swathes of the United States where I have never looked, parts of Ontario where I have never been. When I look at the map I see enough interesting places to visit that I could travel them for years.

Nick finishes his article with a request from readers to send in their favourite hundred mile vacation; I do the same here.

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