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Travel to new places vs. visiting familiar places


Kirby
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There is a column in the Wall Street Journal about a woman who loved to explore new places who now appreciates travel to familiar places that she loves even more.  The article is behind a pay wall, but it raises an interesting question.  When you think about where you want to travel now, do you mainly want to explore new places that you've never seen before and experience something different, or return to places you've visited before and have grown to love?

If your preferred travel is to "old" places, where are those places? If you want to go somwhere new, what's top of your "to do" list.

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WHEN I WAS young I wanted to go everywhere. I had notebooks’ worth of lists: half-imagined, half-researched, of all the places I would fly off to without warning

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And then I started to fall in love. In the course of my wanderings, certain places started to pull me. I would make friends; I would establish habits. I started traveling less for novelty—the thrill of seeing an unknown place—than for the reassurance that I still had a home in the places I had come to care for

 

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both.

I've been vacationing in Vermont, same lake, for over 50 years.  My brother now has a house and cabins there.  Love it.  But we have an RV so we can go to new places, too.  There's a few places we camp rather regularly, but mostly we explore.

Trying to do Italy this year (not with the RV), 2 other new trips, actually may not get to Vt. for more than a couple days.

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I have always sought the new places, I have a strong affinity to place novelty. That is easy to do when younger and active and you want to ride new trails and such.  I can see liking a balance, though. 

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I do both happily.

I can not relate to her 21 vs 31 mindset, though. Sure, I like my home, my things, my routines, my established bike routes, but at 31, I was NOWHERE near that "settled" in to the same.  On the flip side, my parents LOVED a routine and vacation in the same spot year after year after year.  It was something we as kids looked forward to, but to me, now, it would be one piece of a much larger selection.  

At 21, I’d been content to wander unrooted. At 31, I find myself putting down new roots in the places I love the most. When I travel—more rarely than I once did—it is less because I want to see the unfamiliar than because I want to call my attention to what has since become familiar. The pleasures of travel for me have become the pleasures of recognition: of finding my old table, in my usual restaurant, of embracing someone I have not seen for too long who embraces me, in turn, and says welcome home.

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When I traveled extensively to new places, I would visit the places I wanted to see first. Places that I would like to see if save for another visit. This gave me time to slow down and explore more. My only regret is that out of eight trips to Naples Italy, I never made time to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum. I guess I’ll have to go back. The food was good.

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2 hours ago, Kirby said:

When you think about where you want to travel now, do you mainly want to explore new places that you've never seen before and experience something different, or return to places you've visited before and have grown to love?

While I am still working, travel that allows for convenient and affordable flights is a high priority. And my travel is planned for the winter months, trying to maximize summer sailing opportunities as much as possible. So I have been going to Hawaii and Aruba repeatedly over the past few years. 

After retirement, I’d love to do the UK and Australia/NZ in their respective summers.

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This is a great topic, @Kirby.  My wife and I were just having this conversation.  We just got back from vacation from a place I was just at 6 months ago.  Truth is I was kind of bored as there are only so many things one can do on the island in the shoulder season.  First off, most of the businesses are closed Monday - Wednesday and nothing is open late.  Many places close at 3 p.m.  That's island time for ya.  And if it's rainy, you're not going to be walking the beaches or doing day hikes up and around the island.  On most of the island, cell phone coverage is poor.  In fact, there really isn't much to do.  You're more or less off the grid, we stayed at a place with no television, and it was quiet and boring.  But we both left and came to the same conclusion.  That's exactly the point.  I don't have a problem anymore going to the same places I've already visited because our goal has changed.  My new objective is to get forced relaxation and seek solitude versus spending 4 days in some new place trying to explore and see everything. And while that certainly still has an appeal, I can tell you as I'm getting older my goals are changing.

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Now that we are retired our travels are different. We use to take turns driving through the night to get where we were going but now we take our time. 

When I'm driving Wo46 at what cities are coming up and Google things to do in that city. It's not uncommon to stop for a few hours and go mountain biking, brewery or distillery tours or hiking. 

There are times we will load up the motorcycle jump on and head out and be gone for 3 or 4 days with no plans on where or how far or where we are going to stay for the night. 

Wo46 was just talking about wanting to do another motorcycle trip this summer and I said....I hear that you can find good BBQ in Memphis she smiled and said OK 

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I like both.  I enjoy experiencing /seeing something new. And also dropping by a place to eat which has a reliable record of tasty dishes and good service.

I'm seeing this  question from the perspective when I'm strictly only a tourist....vs. the places where I've lived for several years where for the latter  there are definitely favourite/familiar places to visit and also try /see something new as a former resident, but now a visitor. 

I'm not the sort of person that just takes off on bike on an unknown route to explore. I usually want to have an idea where I'm going/am. I don't get a wonderful kick of feeling lost /wasting more mileage  because I took the wrong turn.

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Lately I prefer to stay in my own yard.  It seems huge to me and I am constantly finding new plants and things to see there. With the bike infrastructure, it is a perfect place to be.

Soon my plants will start to show up.  Bliss!

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I enjoy both. I’m probably the reverse of the original article. We did do some great trips with the kids, but most times, our destinations were to visit family out of state, they would show us around a bit and we would explore some as well. There are still family we live to visit and places we like to return to, but I’m more inclined to take that side road and stop somewhere for a mom and pop greasy spoon than I would have in years past. I’m having fun checking out our new home but we look forward to getting out for more day trips as we get settled in. 

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I would prefer new places, only because there are places I haven't been to that I'd love to see including: Italy, the Galapagos Islands and Peru, Hawaii, an Australia - New Zealand - Antarctica/Penguins Cruise, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti Plain.

But I'd love to go back to some of the places I've already been because there's so much to see like: Egypt, Western USA, and Caribbean.

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We visited downtown Portland. So different from a few years ago. It was like a ghost town… Windows boarded up, graffiti, empty streets, tent camps along sidewalks. I had wanted to drive to Astoria and visit a Victorian mansion, but mr. thought we’d be pressed for time to return our rental car, so we went straight to Portland. While we were eating lunch in a familiar though now nearly empty Chinese restaurant, he said he’d rather have tried Astoria after all. 

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