My young friend is making her first trip to Europe in late August and asked what she should take to help her recall the journey once she gets home _ camera? video? laptop?
My advice: tape player and cologne.
Choose an album by a favorite artist or group and listen to it as you travel from place to place and as you go to sleep at night. Take a blank tape and record some sounds around you as you travel _ a train station, a city street, or perhaps birds singing outside your window at a small mountainside pension.
When you get home, copy the album you took to a new tape, interspersed with the sounds you recorded.
Listening to that will re-create that trip in your mind better than any photograph or video.
In 1988, I backpacked through Europe with U2's absolutely sublime Boy, listening to it as I rode the trains through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Denmark. Others on the train said their beads when the wheels on our car got smoking hot as we went through a tunnel in the Dolomite Alps between Austria and Italy, but I revved up the volume of The Electric Company and made it through in as good a shape as they did.
Now, whenever I hear any track from Boy, I think I'm back in beautiful Europa Cologne.
Before my first trip abroad in 1973, a friend gave me a small flagon of Carven's Ma Griffe, a fragrance I had never had before. I dabbed it on all the way through London, Paris and Copenhagen.
Now, every time I make a trip abroad, I wear Ma Griffe to get into the spirit of things. And when I want to feel that I'm in Europe again, I just dab a bit on, turn up my tape player, close my eyes, and there I am.
If you go see the Tampa Museum of Art's current exhibit, underCURRENT/overVIEW6, be sure to seek out the works of two Pasco artists chosen to be in it: Linda Berghoff and Yudit Naage.
Ms. Berghoff's work is four photographs of a woman's head with layers of sheer fabric netting. Her other piece, Salon on Sullivan Street, is a layering of photos, fabric, painting and drawing.
Naage's entry is Tears of Things, a sculpture.
The show runs through Sept. 22 at the museum on Ashley Drive, just south of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.