Some time ago I wrote about indefinite traveling and how I could never do that because to me, traveling is only exciting for a change. To me, change primarily means to always return to everyday life after some time abroad. But it also means to pick different destinations every time I travel. What is perfectly natural to me is weird for others. Many people stick to one place and visit it every year. Why do they do that, anyway? And don’t they just miss a lot?
In the past three years I have been to four continents and visited 14 different countries. This is not much for a travel blogger. Yet it is a lot for my grandparents. They used to visit the same little village on the island Amrum in the North Sea for years. To my father, on the other hand, there is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than a small, widely unknown peninsula in eastern Greece – the Pelion. As a kid I used to visit both places in regular intervals. Then, it was not unusual or unnatural to do so – it did not bother me that I did not see any other places. Because I had never been anywhere else. I did not yet know that there was the whole world to discover and that I could go anywhere I wanted. I only noticed that some years after the last holiday with my parents.
Everything was just wonderful. Yet it was also boring.
Last summer, many years after that last holiday, I went to Greece once again. I just went there for a week, not three of them like we used to when I was a kid. Still I went to the same village and got the same vacation home. I slept in the very same bed that I had slept in so many nights already – and I was pretty sure that the renters of the flat had not exchanged the mattress since the time I was 15. The Pelion was just like I had left it at that age. No financial crisis in Greece has hardly left any marks on it, and the tourism industry still hadn’t grown any bigger. From the terrace of the vacation home the view over the bay was as awesome as ever. The weather was perfect. The sea was pure and warm. The food was excellent. The butcher from the neighboring village whom I had taken into my heart as a kid had grown some grey hair, but apart from that he looked just like ever and he still had the admirable ability to cut the meat from the piece to the exact gram. Nothing had changed at all. It was boring.
Their destination becomes a second home
In the past ten years, my parents have been to two different countries that are coincidentally situated on two different continents. They like it that way. And that is alright. They have found a little paradise for themselves – just like many others whom I have talked to. Of course, there are positive aspects to it: Those who always return to a place get to know it really well. And then, there comes a time when their destination becomes a second home. But would you really want that? The known keeps us safe because we do not have to expect any unforeseen experiences. Put that way, the holiday becomes everyday life.
Do they exist – destination to which one can return indefinitely without the feeling of missing out on something else? Where there is constant change? There is constant change in the metropolises of this world for sure. And for sure, there are destinations that are worth a second visit – or maybe even a third. But: Visiting the same place every year? I love the idea of finding one’s own paradise. Yet I cannot imagine going there every year. As of now, there is so much to see, and so little time – and I want to see as much as I can.
Did you find your paradise already?