The joys of revisiting a destination

Experiencing new places and new people is one of the biggest joys of travel that you can have. It’s a huge part of why so many people take Gap Years, career breaks, or go backpacking to far flung destinations… to experience something new, something different to what they will see back home. Sometimes in these new destinations you have the best time of your life. You have memories that will live with you for the rest of your life, and always make you smile. Then you move on to the next destination, or go home.

At some point later in your life, it can be days, weeks, months, or years, you will probably want to make a trip back to one or some of these destinations. Even if it’s just a weekend break this time, a quick jaunt away, you will most likely feel the urge to go back at some point over your lifetime. For a lot of people this is to re-live the moments they had before, for others, the more experienced travellers of us, we know that can’t happen. You have to go back with the intention of making new memories, rather than re-living old ones. If you don’t, you will be disappointed. Trust me. Nostalgia is a bastard of a thing. It will make you remember all those fantastic moments, but not the dull ones in between. It creates an unrealistic perception of a destination, making you expect something that is just not attainable – pure perfection.

If you go with the positive attitude of going to make new memories, and lower your expectations, then you will no doubt have a wonderful time. The reason I write about this topic though, is because despite knowing all this myself. Despite having experienced both sides of the coin many times as a traveller, I still can’t contain my excitement that I will be going back to Seville on Monday! Even though, I’m really just going to hang out. It’s almost made my first day here in Granada a bore because my mind can’t stop racing forward to Seville, to what I’m going to be doing, to seeing some of my old friends, to just living life and being happy without having to run around seeing tourist sites. Also, I’m staying in a really crap hostel here in Granada which doesn’t help, but that’s a story for another day… (Please note: I should point out here that I’m not saying Granada is boring. It’s a tremendously beautiful city that I look forward to experiencing much more of tomorrow, but I think that also reiterates my point. If you can’t focus on somewhere as beautiful as Granada, possibly the most beautiful city in Spain, then you clearly have your heart set on somewhere else!)

Right now I keep fluctuating between feeling so excited, and imagining all the great experiences I will be having once I get there, to worrying about it being so shit that it permanently ruins my perception of the city, leaving a stain on my memories. I just hope and pray I don’t have rosy tinted spectacles on, and I am trying desperately to remember the dull, boring moments I had there too, so that I’m not disappointed upon arrival.

That’s the worst thing about revisiting a destination for me, having travelled so much of late, and especially referencing somewhere as special to me as Seville was. I worry so much about it being a disappointment, a let down, or even a full on disaster of a trip. I have happy memories, but I’m also aware of ones that can be boring or sad. Yet, in those moments where I allow myself to just relax and just think of the good times, I get a flip in my belly that surpasses the excitement of visiting somewhere new. I never thought I could feel like that.

For me, and for many travellers out there I’m sure, it’s always been about striving to see and experience new things, new destinations, new people. It always will be. Too long in any destination and I’ve got itchy feet to hit the road again. No matter how much I love that place or think it’s cool. Yet, the thought of revisiting an old place after a time away has got me more excited than I have ever been about anywhere. I just don’t understand it.

Looks like travel has yet again thrown me something unexpected. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you suddenly feel very inexperienced all over again. I think that’s why my excitement never wanes with travel. You never know what you are going to feel.

Here’s hoping things don’t go shit in Seville. Otherwise, expect a “How Seville went shit” post coming your way soon!

One Response to “The joys of revisiting a destination”

  1. Alouise says:

    I went back to New York City for the second time last year. The first time I went was with my mom, and I had a great time. But I think my second trip was even better. I was travelling solo, so I got to do and see what I wanted to. And since I’d already been to New York I wasn’t nervous about taking the subway, or finding my way around. I hope your second trip to Seville is just as good, or better, than your first trip.

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