So, what places are worth a repeat visit? What are the locations one can return to and find enjoyment again and again? My first, immediate response would be an amusement park, a place designed for visiting. Basically, my knee-jerk answer is Disneyland.
But let’s take a look at that. Do I like Disneyland? Sure. It’s certainly a constant for me, someplace I enjoy greatly and go as often as possible. But it’s designed for that. Now, I get that some people don’t like it, for a variety of reasons, but for me, it’s a blast. It’s a portal to the sense of wonder you experience as a kid and at the same time, it’s got the thrills and pulse-pounding rides and attractions to keep your adult self happy and entertained. The first bit of travel Rasa and I did together was to Disneyland Paris and we’ve been back a couple of times since, taking Monki for her first and third birthdays (and she’s now asking to go again).
Places like Disneyland become the default answer but again, these are places created for, and dependent upon, returning guests. Looking deeper into the question, though, I have to wonder what it’s actually going for. I mean, we take Monki to the zoo here in Kaunas with regularity (it’s only a one kilometer walk from our place) and as an afternoon getaway, it’s perfect. But I don’t know if that qualifies since it’s our neighborhood.
Ultimately, I guess part of my issue answering this question is that I love travel in general. There are places I’ve only been once (Iceland, I’m looking at you) to which I’d love to return and explore more, but again, is that a fair response? How big or small of a “place” fits into the parameter of the question? Disneyland works because it’s a single location. Iceland is a country. Now, as an EU resident, could I reasonably answer that the US is a place I could travel over and over again? The fact that I was born and raised there, lived there for 40+ years, doesn’t mean I’ve seen anywhere close to everything the country has on offer. In fact, We’re planning a road trip sometime in the next couple of years, when Monki is old enough to enjoy and appreciate it, to visit certain sections of that vast place (possibly [probably] including Disneyworld in Florida).
Or maybe I’m just overthinking this. I do tend to do that. Okay, so since it’s my answer, I can interpret it any way I want, right? Let’s limit responses to smaller geographic areas, cities at the outside limit. That said, like Iceland, there are places I’ve visited once which I know I would like to see again because there’s a lot to see and then there are places where once is enough, glad I’ve been but no need to return.
London is a place I can return to with regularity. In fact, before the plague, I would go about once a year or so by myself to hang out with Lin, my sister from another mister, see live theatre, visit the Natural History Museum (one of my favorite buildings ever), and check out whatever other cultural things I’m missing*. The last time I went to London with the family, though, Monki was just turning two and so there were a number of things we had planned to do with her which didn’t happen, so a return trip with them is also on the agenda.
Paris is the same. Since Disneyland Paris is not Paris (it’s about an hour away by train), and Monki is fascinated by the Eiffel Tower, it’s also on the return list. I was there once, a few years back, but only for two days so I know there’s much more for me to see and experience.
In the States, San Francisco is on the list, as are San Diego, Seattle, and Chicago. Part of those responses are for me and part of it is that they are places I want to show Rasa or share with Monki.
Beyond those places, though, there are a number of places I wouldn’t mind seeing for the first time. Honestly, the real answer to this question is the airport and the train station since visiting those places means we’re off for an exciting adventure someplace, and the destination, while important, is all part of the overall experience.
Maybe that’s the answer: I can travel anywhere over and over again because, ultimately, it’s not the same place as it was the last time, whenever and wherever it is, and I am not the same person and I will always find something new and exciting to add to my collection of experiences.
*bookstores and cafes where I can hear and experience English is a biggee for me