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What makes you go back to a country time and time again?

What makes you go back to a country time and time again?

Old Apr 9th, 2001, 04:09 PM
  #1  
wendy
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What makes you go back to a country time and time again?

I just read with interest the, "Italy, a trip not worth your money or time" because of the extreme difference of opinion.

I travel to Italy often and extensively, for weeks at a time...and must admit, with all that it has to offer, it doesn't tug on me to return once I get back to the states, while France and South Africa do. Each for different reasons.

There are numerous countries that aren't ranked high on my list to visit, even though they are all worthwhile, life, money, and time are limited...

It made me wonder why some places appeal to certain people and others just, well, don't.

Is it a personality trait, a 'way of living' that differs in each country, you traveled at a time in your life that opened your eyes to a certain place?

Why do you go back to a certain place time and time again or feel drawn to a place you've never been?

Wendy
 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 04:35 PM
  #2  
Sue
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Great thread! We travel 4-6 times per year and have rarely gone back to the same place twice. Our feeling is that there is so much to see in the world, we'd rather see something new than repeat an experience. There are 2 exceptions for us: St Martin in the Virgin Islands and Paris! SXM because it has the most beautiful beach this side of Hawaii and more French and other restaurants per square foot than any other place in the world. And Paris because we just couldn't fit in everything we wanted to see and do the first time we visited! We leave for SXM this week and Paris in July....what a year...lol.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 04:43 PM
  #3  
Jim Rosenberg
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Another interesting discussion is about to begin. If I could only go on three more trips for the rest of my life, they would all be to Paris. I don't know exactly why, but it is simply a matter of ambiance and appreciation for a place that somehow just draws us in and allows us to become a part of it; to make it our own. We are only "visitors" in other places, but not in Paris. It feels more like a continuous experience with new chapters that we add between interruptions.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 05:04 PM
  #4  
Steve
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I have a special feeling for Italy with its place in history and my heritage. I fell in love with the small quaint and touristy towns, always feeling at home and comfortable. Paris is also a very special city for us. We first went to Paris and Italy last year and spent 5 days in Paris at the beginning of our tour. This year we are going back and ending up with 5 days in Paris again.
We still need to see the "must sees," but just enjoy the roaming and soaking in of the city and the people. Wine, cheese, bread, outdoor cafes, I know we will be going back again next year.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 05:13 PM
  #5  
Ger
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Places I don't want to go to again - Las Vagas, Jamaica - nothing wrong with them for those that like gambling or beaches, but I don't. I have had no negative experiences, simply the experiences they offer are no longer what I am interested in.

Because I travel to Europe on business, I have the option of taking 2-3 day side trips for pleasure. I have found that 2-3 days in a place increases the appetite and leaves you wanting more so you inevitably return to peel back more layers.

Paris - I have to go there at least twice year because, from the first time I was there as a teenager, it felt like home - I am comfortable there. I like cities because I was brought up in a city, so I am comfortable in Rome, Madrid, Prague, Cairo (well..perhaps a bit scared there!).

What makes me want to go back again - the uniqueness of the experience, something I can't see or feel somewhere else - the art or architecture that defines that culture, how it portrays its role in civiization. I can visit "Egypt" in the British Museum or the Louve, but this is only a poor approximation of the real thing.

The locals willingness to engage - their random kindness and concern - is something I always remember long after the images of the art and architecture fade.

 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 05:30 PM
  #6  
wendy
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What wonderful, thought provoking answers. Please accept my apology in advance for quoting a few of your sentences, you get all the credit for saying them, they were incredibly moving.

I've always said that there isn't enough lifetimes to see and learn all I want to see and learn, which is why every place is worthy of discovering. But even so, no matter where I go (East)I have to begin the journey in Paris.

I've never been able to put my finger on why, but I think that 'Ger' said it best when he mentioned feeling at home and comfortable. On the beginning of my journey somewhere else, I always touch down in Paris, because that I am touching base with who I am , my REAL self..it somehow is at peace and as a friend of mine once said, "When I am in Paris, I am deliriously happy."

I am filled with the life and joy that comes with truly being comfortable and at 'home'... like going 'home' on Christmas Day to a house full of family and friends who know you for who you are, and the smells and aromas coming out of the kitchen you know by heart and the feeling of belonging there, even when you know you can't stay forever.

On the way back from most trips, I again touch down in Paris, and somehow, I am a new extension of the person that was just there, I've learned new things, made new discoveries and friends, my eyes and soul more 'aware' of the world and hungry for more. As Jim said, "a continuous experience with new chapters that we add between interruptions."

I have had incredibly moving humbling moments all over the world, but somehow it all starts and ends in Paris, and as 'Ger' said, "The locals willingness to engage - their random kindness and concern - is something I always remember long after the images of the art and architecture fade."
 
Old Apr 9th, 2001, 11:40 PM
  #7  
Melissa
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I, too, did not care for Italy as much...it seemed expensive, and many people seemed to be out to make a fast buck. BUT I think everyone needs to go to Italy at least once, for the history lesson & culture.

I always go back to France (especially Paris) and London. The people are so warm and friendly ... I always feel welcome there. The food is great (yes even in London!), which just adds to the wonderfulness of it all! I get pathetically weepy when I'm back in the US and I see photos of London/Paris or hear about it. No other destinations in Europe make me feel this way!
 
Old Apr 10th, 2001, 04:58 AM
  #8  
Judy
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Melissa, I feel the same about London and Paris too! My dream would be to rent an apartment for 3 months in both cities, when we retire.....sigh.
Judy
 
Old Apr 10th, 2001, 05:38 AM
  #9  
s
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Ah, Wendy,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to dwell on my favorite place(s).

First, of course, is the intangible *feeling* I get when I arrive, no matter how many times I get to arrive there. I remember once when I arrived at Montreux, after an absence of less than six months and from the perfectly beautiful and sublime Luzern, yet the view of Lake Geneva simply stunned me. I threw my bags into the hotel room and literally **ran** to the promenade to sit down and drink in the view.

And so second is the view and the food.

And third is what I call "travel-friendly," but for Switzerland, I think it is just "living-friendly." I mean, it's just so easy to get around and to get the simple things done. Even for a woman travelling alone and unfamiliar with the city (any city), it is a breeze to get in, get around, get your necessaries, etc. Between the trains and the trams and the train station shopping centers and the postal services and the post buses and the helpful folks at every corner, nothing seems difficult.

And for those reasons it's Switzerland in general and Montreux in particular.

s
 
Old Apr 10th, 2001, 06:54 AM
  #10  
elvira
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I revisit places for different reasons. I like Las Vegas, certainly not for the culture or enlightenment, but for a fun weekend with a bunch of friends, it can't be beat. I want to revisit Morocco; I didn't see enough of it last time. I love Paris, and visit it over and over again; each time, I see new things....and familiar things. That combination of comfort and surprise keeps me fascinated.

Personally, I've seen enough of Miami to last a lifetime.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2001, 11:42 AM
  #11  
Sue
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From my first day in French class as a freshman in high school, my goal in life was to get to France. Being there in my 20s was a dream come true. When I dragged my husband over 15 years later, he too fell under the spell, saying, "If Iíd been here in my 20s, I would never have gone back home." Each time we return to France, we explore a region we havenít seen yet, but we always end up in Paris (and now Isle-sur-la-Sorgue since we have found an inexpensive gite with a nice landlady where we can put up our feet and just be). As Elvira so aptly put it, itís a combination of comfort and surprise. One of our favorite surprises was the plaque on the Hotel of York on rue de l'Universite where the peace treaty between the US and England was signed, giving us independence. When Gene was taking a picture of it early one morning, a little man stopped and said, "I have lived here all my life and never saw that--in Paris there is always something new."

Last visit we met up with Fodorites, did some shopping, saw the Zadkine museum and a pointillist exhibit at the Grand Palais (where we had never gone before), had a great meal at La Coupole, stayed in a kooky room at a handy hotel and just enjoyed. I think thatís one reason we change hotels in Parisójust to get another neighborhood point of view, another chance at exploration, one more variation on the same theme.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2001, 03:54 PM
  #12  
Melissa
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Oh, you guys!!! I'm such a loser! I'm reading your responses and I'm getting all teary-eyed.

Judy, my ultimate fantasy is to retire NOW (hahaha!!) and get my apartments in London & Paris! yeah, right. ;-)
 
Old Apr 13th, 2001, 08:35 PM
  #13  
alan
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Hi Good question, It makes me think. I remember before going to Paris the first time being hesitant because of the stories I've heard about the Parisians. Nothing horrible or even bad happened. I've been back since and thoroughly enjoy it. Growing up in NYC I see a similiarity in the people and even the driving habits. The other places I enjoy are Hungary, especially Budapest though I enjoy the entire country and have been there several times, and planning to go back in Sept. I also enjoy Munich perhaps because as a Jewish person and familiar with the history I get a sense of triumph and a fel of how it must have been once.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2001, 08:43 PM
  #14  
Amy
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Ah, the eternal dilemma: return to the lands you know you love, or choose new destinations and adventures? I tend to choose the new, but there are some places I've returned and trust to return yet again:
UK, Russia, Iceland. In all of these I have felt that I've discovered a part of me that exists nowhere else.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2001, 09:07 AM
  #15  
wendy
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Thank you for your great posts!

I guess that is what it narrows down to, the dilemma of a new adventure versus returning to the land you love!

 
Old Apr 14th, 2001, 04:54 PM
  #16  
Art
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I guess that I'd like to go back to Germany more than any other place. Having said that I'd also include Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary and Denmark. I actually end up going new places each time though as this year to Poland and Rumania. There is so much to see in this world and although I'll never get a true feeling of all of the places, at least I'll get a taste of them. To me going back to the same place all of the time could be replaced by picking a city in the US to go to every time. I leave Paris off of my list as I have been there 3 times and it is one of the newest cities in Europe having been rebuilt 200 years ago. There are so many more beautiful cities in Europe than Paris that I just concentrate on them. Not that I didn't enjoy Paris as I have enjoyed every place that I've been (so far), but there are just so many places of interest that I've not been to.
Regards
Art
 
Old Apr 14th, 2001, 11:24 PM
  #17  
Patti Suttle
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Ireland. At 16 on my first trip there (or anywhere for that matter) my parents were worried if I'd enjoy it-hah! I loved it. This summer is my 6th time back and we are bringing 8 friends.
I always hope my friends will love it as I do-but I have to realize that if they don't its OK. My favorite thing is smelling that wonderful air (can't explain it) when I land in Shannon.
Both my parents are from there and I grew up with "all things Irish".

We go to London as well and Paris too.
I really have never been anywhere that I did not enjoy though. But, I have not been to Paris yet and from all the studying I have done I think I will be in love with it as well. It sounds like my kind of place-in July I will know.
Patti
 
Old Apr 16th, 2001, 10:26 AM
  #18  
Anthony
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Wendy,

My wife and I began traveling to Provence nine years ago and have returned every year since then. We do travel to other places but Provence has a particular attraction to us. We were in our fifties when we went for the first time.

Things that draw one back there are the scenery, the people, the cuisine, the clear air, the lavender in early July, the sunflowers in August.

Once it grabs you there really is nowhere else. I travel "vertically" meaning once I like an area I want to know more and more about it. France in general, and Provence in particular, have become my lifetime objects of study and understanding.

If beauty and serenity are high on your objective list do try Provence.

Good luck!
 

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