Five Fantastic Nostalgic Triggers

Nostalgia is the process of being suddenly swept up by a benevolent memory. It’s a healthy, enjoyable, and relaxing way to spend an afternoon – especially if you’ve got someone to share your stories with. Let’s have a look at some tricks which can awaken this pleasant ability.

1. The smell of frying bacon

Bacon and eggs were always a staple breakfast in my home growing up – chances are, it probably was in your house, too. Many of us remember the smell of frying bacon as a heavenly aroma. Its savory, salty musk takes me back to sunlit mornings in the early 80’s, maple syrup on the dining room table, CBC Radio One chattering out of a single speaker FM radio that mom purchased at Sears in 79.  When it was on, we all sat hushed, speaking softly in our 8AM voices.

2. The sound of a horn

If it toots when you squeeze its bulb, then it’s the kind of horn I’m talking about. They used to be in and on everything – bikes, stuffed toys, even automobiles. They always make me recall alleyway bike rides in autumn… my dog and her squeaky toy… and the howl of a distant locomotive, as it rattled past the places where I once lived.

3. Playing Fetch

It’s a real joy to watch a hard-running pooch retrieve their beloved tennis ball. If you’ve ever been a pet owner, or simply enjoy spending time with the pets of your loved ones – the ritual of a good game of fetch might just remind you of some “best friends” from the past.

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4. A lottery machine as it plays its “winner” chime

When the lottery machine scans a winning ticket, it always rewards a winner with a special little ditty. Sometimes just overhearing that theme can bring back memories of a distant lotto win – allowing you to experience the thrill of victory all over again. Next time you stop by your favorite corner store, why not linger for a moment… and see if an earful of that neat little tune can help you relive one of yesterday’s scratch-and-win winfalls.

5. Outlandish flavors of ice cream

Enjoying ice cream is a common ritual for just about everyone… but fringe flavors like pink bubblegum, zebra stripe, and wasabi peanut butter are only enjoyed by the most courageous culinary adventurers. The last time any of us ate a scoop of one of these fascinating concoctions, we were still young enough to keep an open mind about dessert. If you’ve got a spare evening… why not pick up a pint of an adventurous flavor, bring it back to the retirement home,  and share it with a few friends? It just might inspire a fun evening spent recalling the ice cream parlors of your youth.

Josh Byer is an author, copywriter and blogger living in Vancouver, Canada.

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