We all want to conserve our favourite destinations’ USP so as we don’t shake the Cook coconut tree.
And that’s why we leave the minutiae of building committee meetings to spreadsheet junkies.
While we fill in the colour of why our landscapes can grow so far but no further.
Climb the tree
Deep in the Pacific Ocean they understandably measure their growth against their most widespread feature.
And so developers on The Cook Islands are limited to how high they can build.
Against the measuring rod of coconut trees.
All of which builds up a picture of an island removed of modern branding.
And, you’d be right.
Its 15 islands are free of global brand hotels, chain restaurants, mass market fast-food outlets and traffic lights!
And people… with only 17,500 scattered across the isles.
Ready, steady Cook
And you’ll be good to go with a double vaccination, and without the need for a PCR or Antigen requirement.
News of which I hope to share with you for other travels I am planning and tearing my hair out trying to get over the line.
Back to quirky planning regulations and tales of keeping the skyscrapers down.
Philly steam ahead
Now proud Philadelphia doesn’t defer to its more celebrated east coast neighbour New York on anything.
Except on the size of its buildings… and with good reason.
Because their founder, William Penn, is keeping a watchful eye on his descendants.
The convention in the City of Brotherly Love is never to build higher than the peak of Billy Penn’s hat.
But somebody in the committee obviously had forgotten to read the memo.
Because with the 1987 construction of the One Liberty Place skyscraper they exceeded the height of Billy’s statue atop Philly City Hall.
And they lived to regret it when their sports teams failed to win a title until 2008 when the Phillies took the World Series.
So how did they do it?
And this made it the highest William Penn figure in the city at the time.
All good to know for when I come to be immortalised in my home city of Glasgow.
Tell us too about your destination’s quirky buildings superstitions and we’ll get this conversation going.
For now I’m back to these pre-departure tests and thinking how stressless the Cook Islands and others are making it.
And I’m happy to promote them because you don’t shake the Cook coconut tree.