Travelling the world is exciting, it’s exhilarating and always new – it gives us so many incredible experiences and opportunities and really does broaden our horizon when it comes to people, places and cultures (which can only be good).
After finishing school and plodded off to university (with a lovely little part-time job in tow), I started to realised that; a) I could actually make my own (version) of food and b) that I could start to afford the odd break to a new and exciting place. Straight away, this had me scouring Google Maps and every flight website possible for the coolest and affordable places to visit… after all, I was a student who still primarily lived on baked beans on toast (a totally British thing) and the odd tequila shot on a student night out.
During my time in University, I was able to visit quite a few places in Europe; Florence, Amsterdam, Dublin, Brussels (anywhere within easy reach of my nearest airport), but constrained by my budget and my want to travel more, I found myself choosing not wanting to visit the same places twice – in fact, I refused to…
… and this is where the problem was.
Whilst ‘trying’ to grow up at university, reading all those glossy magazines on ‘bucket lists’, I came to place little value on visiting a place twice. Travelling became a badge of pride for me, to visit new places as if I had a shopping list of things to see and tick off. It came to a point, money permitting, that I actively sought not to travel unless I was visiting a new an exciting place. Now, elements of this are not bad – it makes us strive to do more exploring, to find exciting new places and really see much more of our beautiful world – but when it comes to striking off a place because you’ve already been… that’s not the best.
It’s perfectly reasonable to not want to visit a place a second time – if you didn’t enjoy it but that was never the case for me.
Fast forward a good few years and it came to a point where I was persuaded (by my motley crew of friends) to visit a place for the second time. It was Amsterdam…”Urgh, again?” I remember myself thinking. Thoughts ran through my head about how it was awful to be visiting the place twice, how I’d hate every second and how I’d much rather be visiting Barcelona (where I’d always wanted to go) instead.
Thankfully, as with life, I found out it’s better to learn from experience than with preconceptions. The whole ethos of travelling to tick off a checklist and to disregard places I have already seen was not just unhelpful – it was stopping me see the world. The thing with travel is, that every place is temporal – places change, people move and new places sprout up.
Travel is, after all, all about experiences and memories we can treasure. My last visit to Amsterdam was my ninth visit to the city and I can safely say, I’m raring to visit for the tenth time. I’ve come to realise the importance of ‘experiencing‘ and not just fulfilling a fleeting checklist of places without truly seeing a place.
Travel is fun, it’s exciting, sometimes it can be hard, but it’s always new 🙂