I have a confession to make. It’s about how I chose my travel destination for next month.
Have you ever seen the BBC show “Death in Paradise”? It’s a murder mystery series, a pretty common format on the BBC. In this case, the Detective Inspector is a goofy, absent-minded, but absolutely brilliant crime-solver. He’s assisted by a beautiful, efficient, female Detective Sergeant and two male policemen. One of the policemen is very honest and eager, while the other is playful and provides comic relief.
So far, so formulaic. Now in its fourth season, every episode starts with the lead-up to a murder, followed by the body being discovered. The crime-solvers gather evidence, but are stumped until the Detective Inspector has a sudden brainwave and figures out who committed the crime. Every episode ends with all the possible suspects called together for the big reveal à la Agatha Christie. The Detective Inspector walks his audience very dramatically through his thinking process, finally revealing the guilty party, to everyone’s astonishment. The show ends with a brief, often comical or emotional, closer.
Here’s why this particular series caught my eye: the scenery. Set on a fictional Caribbean Island called Saint Marie, the place does indeed look like paradise.
Whenever I watched this show, I got so caught up in admiring the scenery behind whatever action was taking place that I often missed the story line altogether.
Meanwhile, I was considering all the many places around the world I wanted to visit during my sabbatical, but finding it hard to choose a destination. I knew I wanted to go back to the Caribbean; we spent a few weeks in Bonaire for my 50th birthday, and I fell in love with the place.
There’s just something about the climate, the feel of the breeze, the sound of palm tree leaves rustling, the brilliance of bougainvillea flowers … it makes me feel like I’m home.
The problem was choosing which island to visit this time; I was spoiled for choice.
Then it occurred to me to look up where “Death in Paradise” is filmed. It turns out Saint Marie is Guadeloupe, and the particular village view that gets shown every episode is a town called Deshaies.
So that’s my destination. It’s as good a reason as any, in my view, to choose Guadeloupe.
I’ve been reading up on it, and there’s plenty to see and do there. I’ll climb a volcano. I’ll do a lot of snorkeling, and possibly some diving if I feel I can afford it. I’ll visit a rum museum and a plantation and other historical buildings. I’ll lie on a beach, probably in the evenings when it’s cooler. I’ll get to brush up on my French, since Guadeloupe is still part of France. I won’t even have to change money since they use the euro.
So that’s my confession: I’ve let a TV series steer my choice of destination. It’s as good as any other way to make the decision, isn’t it?
Have you ever built your travel plans around a TV show or a film? Tell me about it in a comment below!