Going back

Old Jul 24th, 2021, 01:54 PM
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Going back

I'll confess that I'm looking for things to discuss that aren't covid related.

I'm interested in people's experience of going back to special places. How was it going back? Did it disappoint or rekindle a love of that place?

In my case, many decades ago and early in our relationship, my partner and I spent some months in Greece. It was a hugely special time for us and we fell in love with the country. Would absolutely love to return but I fear that it will not measure up to our memories and that we should go somewhere fresh. We are different people and Greece will have changed too. We are rarely able to travel together so choosing the right holiday destination is important.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 02:07 PM
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Oh dreamon, I sympathize.
I'm always torn between going back to a place I love or trying somewhere new. I know I'll always be going to NY, partly because I love it but also because it's not so far for us, not as expensive as overseas and we have friends and family there. I'll go to London every chance I get. And I hope one day we'll be able to do our annual Florida vacation again.
But as far as your original question goes, I think (for me) I'd try to marry the two. For example, I'd love to go back to Ireland to visit places I didn't see last time we were there. Same with Italy and Japan, although that's unlikely because it's such an expensive trip. I'd visit the city or cities I know I love and then try to broaden my experience in that country.
I'm still hoping to try a few new places before I kick the bucket but you-know-what is limiting all our travel time. It's so unfair that now that we're both retired and could travel more often, we're not able to do so.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 02:11 PM
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For spouse and I it depended on where we went. We honeymooned in Bermuda in the mid-1960’s and returned there about 30 years later. While it was interesting to try and locate the exact places where we had photos taken (some were easy to identify others were more difficult and still others had changed so much as to be unrecognizable) the overall return trip was just OK. On the other hand, we made multiple return trips to places like Paris, Sidney, Hawaii, Virgin Gorda and each time really enjoyed the experience. Some trips like our African Safari and tour of New Zealand were so enjoyable that we are planning return trips. Other places fall into the category of been there, done that.
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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 08:18 PM
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I go back to the same places over and over. I enjoy going where I am already familiar with things and know I love it. But the trips are recent and close together (year after year) so no huge changes from one time to the next in where I am going. I've been to Puerto Vallarta Mexico 30+ times. To Hawaii 7x now.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 02:57 AM
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Thanks for your feedback, it's appreciated. And I so agree, goddesstogo, about the unfortunate timing of finding ourselves with more time but unable to go anywhere. I'm finding that very challenging but keep telling myself to be patient.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 06:53 AM
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We had such a wonderful time in Berchtesgaden, Germany in December 2001 (mere days before Germany switched over to the Euro) that we were hesitant to revisit in 2016.

That 2001 trip was magical, one of our most memorable trips; we practically had the town to ourselves and snow up to our eyeballs. It was also the first (and last) time we rented a car in Germany. We arrived in Munich and drove to Berchtesgaden during a winter storm.
Unbeknownst to us at the time of our booking, our hotel didn’t officially open until two days after we arrived, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

We took the Salzbergwerk salt mine tour, explored the mountainous Obersalzberg area, visited Konigsee and rode the Jennerbahn gondola to the top. We drank gluhwein, ate applestrudel with vanilla sauce (for breakfast!) and drove to Salzberg in search of a Christkindlmarkt. We inadvertently ended up on the Rossfeld Hohenring Strasse, a scenic toll road that makes a loop from Obersalzberg to Oberau. The scenery was gorgeous.

We revisited Berchtesgaden some 15 years later, also in December. That hotel we loved so much was now surrounded by busy roads, and no longer quiet. We found the cemetery we so fondly remembered from our 2001 visit – I’d gotten some lovely photos of it back then, drenched in snow, one of which we still use as a screensaver. The cafe with the wonderful Apfelstrudel from the 2001 trip didn’t feel familiar and was a bit disappointing. We revisited Konigsee and took the Jenner Bergbahn, followed a winterwanderweg around the reservoir and later walked the track to Jenner Berg.

It was enjoyable, but it wasn't magical There was just something about that first trip. To this day we both look back on it fondly. Perhaps it was a combination of new discoveries, having a beautiful winter wonderland almost entirely to ourselves, and where we were in our lives at the time.

These days we visit our favorite places again and again - Switzerland, New Zealand, etc. We try to branch out on every trip and find new areas as well as revisiting some of the favorites. We visit so often now that the changes are usually pretty subtle.


Last edited by Melnq8; Jul 25th, 2021 at 06:56 AM.
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 06:22 PM
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My sister asked me a couple of years ago why I kept going back to the same places in Germany. I told her that was an odd question since we both had been vacationing at the same beach near San Diego for over 50 years !

I like revisiting places in Germany and France, never worrying that I would be disappointed. I never have been
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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 06:36 PM
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Thanks, Mel and bigtyke.

I think there is a difference between visiting the same holiday destination on a regular basis and re-visiting after a long absence. I remember meeting a guy when we were in Greece in the early-1980s who said he was returning to Santorini after an absence of more than 20 years. We thought Santorini was sublime but he found himself preferring it the way it was before. And then when we returned a few years later, we could see how rapidly it was changing. Of course, if anywhere is going to be impacted by tourism it would be Santorini! And often, it's not about how much a place has changed but how much we have.

'There was just something about that first trip. To this day we both look back on it fondly. Perhaps it was a combination of new discoveries, having a beautiful winter wonderland almost entirely to ourselves, and where we were in our lives at the time.' That's how I feel about our time in Greece, all those years ago.

I agree with you that mixing up places we've previously visited with new ones is probably the answer.

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Old Jul 25th, 2021, 07:34 PM
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The Travel Snob in me says, "why would you go to the same place year after year"? But that's what we did for many years in a row to escape cold Nebraska, USA winters. Isla Mujeres & Isla Holbox, México. That was primarily when I only had a few weeks of vacay. Later, when our income became more flexible due to self employment, that changed and we could explore new places. So, 2 years ago, we went back to Isla Mujeres after a 20 year absence. Was it disappointing? No. But the changes were somewhat overwhelming, which was to be expected to a large degree. But we'll probably never go back. It wasn't the same, semi-undiscovered, pre-TripAdvisor place we knew 30 years ago. Not saying we didnt enjoy it. I get wanting the comfort of knowing a certain place. But seeing new places is good too.
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Old Aug 1st, 2021, 01:45 PM
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I've been to Beijing three times, in 1997, 2001 and 2004. The first time was magical, but it was my first stop in Asia (unless you count an overnight in Narita on the way). Bikes still ruled the streets, glass and concrete hadn't taken over and I fell in love with Asia. By 2001 cars and bikes were about 50-50, modern buildings were showing up, but it hadn't changed that much. By 2004 it wasn't the same city. Cars had fully taken over, and pollution was getting bad. No desire to revisit.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2021, 12:48 AM
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Part of me feels that the world is a very big place and it is a shame to keep retiring to the same place year after year and part appreciates that one can get to know place much better after a few visits.

I first visited Saigon back in the mid 80s soon after it opened up to foreign visitors. Back then Ton San Nhut airport was still bomb damaged. There was no street lighting, very few motorcycles and cars on the streets and millions of bicycles. It was the most exciting vibrant city I had ever visited. Fast forward 40 years and it is a very different place! Choked with traffic, millions of cars and motor cycles but few bicycles. Many of the colonial era building have been replaced skyscrapers, there is now (almost) a subway system. I still love teh place and probably return every other year for a month or so before travelling round the rest of the country. I many respect is very different but also it is still very much Saigon.
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Old Aug 6th, 2021, 05:52 PM
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I like new places, but have loved returning to places that gave me joy the first time, and often find even more joy the second time. One trip to Paris, DH and I spent a day walking to places we had been with our children thirty years before when they were very little. A friend asked what we did that day and we said, “chased memories.”

When I got sick in Italy, I felt I would be OK if we got to Florence where I felt at home. The hotel staff immediately gave me a room with a big tub and brought snacks and tea.

At this point in my life, and after isolation during COVID, I have little energy, so I would be happy to revisit some places where I feel comfortable and have great memories. Eating once more in a favorite romantic square or plaza would seem like a gift. There are always new things to see and do, even in familiar places.
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Old Aug 6th, 2021, 08:30 PM
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There are always new things to see and do, even in familiar places.

Agree 100%!!!!
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 06:16 AM
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Me too.
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 02:45 PM
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In some ways going back to the same place year after year is simply vacation. Nothing wrong with that. But experiencing new places qualifies more as travel. IMO. Often, when you 'travel' to a new destination, you may also find a new place to vacation.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 07:36 AM
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It's an interesting distinction -- vacation as opposed to travel.
To me, a vacation means someplace I'm going for a break/rest from my normal life. For example, when we went to the Outer Banks with our friends for two weeks every second summer, that was a vacation because we just relaxed, read books on the beach, bbq'd, played games, etc. We rarely did anything 'new' there except maybe try a new restaurant.
Traveling, for me, means going someplace where the purpose of seeing and doing things (ie not just relaxing). Those things may be new ones or ones we've done in that same place before or any combination of the two. For example, I could go to London or NYC every year and in each of those cities I could do familiar things I know I love or have an unending choice of new things. That's still 'traveling' to me even though I've been to both places many times.
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