Depending where you choose to go, travel can offer the thrill of someplace new, or the contentment of someplace familiar. My friend David much preferred the latter: He did a lot of traveling, but most of it was to either Venice or London.
Occasionally he could be cajoled into going elsewhere, but he always wanted to get back to his favorites. He once told us that he’d stopped counting how many times he had been to Venice after his 27th visit. So far, I’m still stuck on one.
Unlike David, my inclination is to go somewhere I haven’t been before, since there are so many wonderful places to see. On the other hand, I’ve been fortunate to have seen many wonderful places already, and I’d love to see some of them again — you, too?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have unlimited time and money, so when an opportunity to travel does come along and we ask ourselves “where shall we go?”, we have to pick either a new adventure or an old favorite. Which, I acknowledge, is a nice problem to have.
Places like Copenhagen and Angkor and the Amazon River remain on my wish list of future adventures, but my wish list for return visits includes…
• Paris embraces me; its boulevards and museums and sidewalk cafés reach out affectionately. Not everyone feels that way about the City of Light, I know, but when I daydream about traveling, this is usually where my mind takes me.
• Yellowstone National Park has awe-inspiring sights around almost every bend in the road or trail. At certain times of the year there are hordes of other tourists around every bend, too, but a well-timed visit can make you sigh deeply at Yellowstone’s majestic beauty.
• Moorea is not as well-known as its neighbors Tahiti and Bora Bora, but offers similarly gorgeous beaches and abundant tropical fish. It’s a great place to kayak or dive or hike… or just sprawl out and do nothing.
• Shanghai impressed me with its contrasts: Parts of the city are ancient, but nearby there are skyscrapers. Buildings along the Bund evoke 19th-century Europe, but directly across the river is a business district that, after dark, is lit up like Las Vegas. I have had just a taste of Shanghai, and it made me want more.
• Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is an old but elegant city. As Sally observed when we were there: “In Rome you wake up to car horns; in Florence you wake up to church bells.”
• The California Coastline is where I live, so forgive me if this sounds like boosterism. The Pacific coast’s natural beauty stretches for hundreds of miles (and in fairness, to Oregon and Washington, too). As much as I like going elsewhere, it’s great to come back here.
So… what about you? Is there some special place you look forward to seeing again?