Several years ago, I remember trying to convince my family and friends that Turks and Caicos was this most amazing, often overlooked, island paradise just a stone’s throw away from the Bahamas. After months of making references and dropping hints, everyone’s eye’s glazed over. “Yes, girl, we know! “Turks and the Caicos . . . . Turrrks and Caaaicos, T&C . . . We get it!” So I gave up on the sales pitch and started dreaming of a solo adventure to paradise. It took me a little longer to plan it BGF-style (AKA cheaply) because most of the hotel prices were ridiculous.
Next thing I know, a few months have passed and all I see in the pop-culture news are photos of Beyonce and JayZ gallivanting along the turquoise shores of … where? …. You guessed it! Turks and Caicos! Suddenly, Sasha Fierce has made her playground, actress Lisa Raye became the country’s first lady, and it’s instantly the new hot spot for the young financially endowed elite. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were married on the beach, and Jerry Seinfeld and his wife spent their honeymoon here.
So, imagine my disappointment, when I discovered that my little “spot” was on front-page news. For those for whom celebrity presence is a major attraction, you’re probably wondering what my problem is. So, let me quickly explain. …. My personal travel style is to find and enjoy those hidden fabulous spots in the world before they’re a household name and get overrun with tourists. Think Cinque Terra before famed guidebook author Rick Steve’s help transform it from a string of quaint little towns into the most visited site in the Italian Riveria, or Tuscany before the film/book “Under the Tuscan Sun” made every single American women in her 40’s book a ticket to Florence in search of her own love affair with an Italian man and the countryside. So this is why I liked Turks & Caicos better before it became a regular mention on celebrity gossip blogs. It doesn’t mean I don’t still plan to go one day. Now that LisaRaye has left the Premier to his alleged philandering way, it will soon fall off everyone’s radar. And that will be the perfect time for a visit.
Well, that’s more than you want to know about why I care about celebrity travel comings and goings. But, why should you? Though often unintentional, celebrities (and the entourages, paparazzi and others that follow) do make a impact on the locales they frequent. And, you, a budding travel expert should keep an observant eye on what they’re up to. Whether you’re a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot kind of traveler or a member of the let-it-cool-down-before-I-touch-it crew, watching knowing what’s up can help you can gauge how quickly you should run TOWARDS or AWAY from their favorite locales.