Dad's List of Places To Visit on Trip to U.S. 12 Years Ago Sparks Nostalgia

A Brazilian dad's list of places to visit during a holiday to the U.S. more than 12 years ago has sparked delight and just a little nostalgia on social media.

Laís Cunha Ciosaki, a 24-year-old architect from Ribeirão Preto in São Paulo state, posted the list on Reddit after her mom found it at the back of a closet in the family home.

It is an unusual selection. Rather than listing landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, Cunha Ciosaki's dad appeared more concerned with visiting shopping malls and stores such as Best Buy and Guitar Center.

He also seemed eager to sample the culinary delights of Wendy's, Taco Bell and Denny's.

Cunha Ciosaki told Newsweek that she had shared her dad's list as she thought people might find it "interesting and wholesome to see that the most mundane and everyday places for them might be interesting from the point of view of a foreigner visiting their country."

She added that, when the family visited Florida in 2010, the dollar was also cheap "so we were able to buy a lot of things for very good prices, especially electronics and clothing."

Dad's list of places to visit.
Laís Cunha Ciosaki shared a picture of her dad's list of places to go during a visit to Florida. .u/forrozinhodoce

The post proved popular on two levels. For some Reddit users, it was an opportunity to poke fun at the dad's desire to explore the mundanity of American retail. As Alternative_Tip_7527 put it "Bro went to Miami to go to the music store." I_Might_Be_Weasel wrote: "That is so g****** depressing."

For many others, though, the list was a source of nostalgia. It included several now defunct retailers such as CompUSA, which went online-only in 2018, and restaurant chain Sweet Tomato, which operated as Souplantation before its closure in 2020.

"Comp USA. That is a name I have not heard in a long time," BustedBudha wrote.

Another user, Tunabear3, lamented: "I still miss Sweet Tomatoes and its partner, Souplantation."

Verdell82 agreed: "I miss Sweet Tomatoes so much."

A yearning for times gone by can have a positive effect on behavior, according to research. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the social aspect of nostalgia can motivate people to adopt more prosocial behavior.

Researchers said nostalgia can help us to realize the importance of relationships and, in turn, encourage us to connect with friends and romantic partners.

Cunha Ciosaki said she understood that nostalgic impulse. "I didn't know that some of the places went out of business, so I think part of the attention comes from that fact, in a way it's kinda like a throwback," she said.

"I also think people were surprised that others would travel across the ocean, fly so many miles, to want to eat at Taco Bell."

She emphasized, however, that shopping was not the main reason for the trip. Like many families vacationing in Florida, they visited Disney World.

"This wasn't our main travel itinerary. We didn't fly to the U.S. just to go to those places," she said. "We went on a cruise and after that, we went to Disney World, Universal Studios and other theme parks, which were the main reasons for our trip."

The families only got to visit a handful of the stores and food outlets on her dad's list, including Wendy's and Best Buy, but also managed to fit in trips to Target, Ross and Kmart.

"The stores were recommended for having variety and good prices," she said. "I also think going to the U.S. and not eating at some of the most known places seems crazy. Nowadays we actually have many North American fast-food chains in Brazil but at the time it was exciting."