There is certainly some pressure when it comes to planning a holiday. Should not you rather discover new places instead of going back to places where you have been tens of times? writer Jessica Wagener has found her answer: that it’s okay to travel to the same place over and over again.
I used to laugh at and despise them: people who always travel to the same place. Experience lazy philistines, risk-averse habitual animals, boring. Her aura smelt of geraniums and brown striped camper awning in Timmendorf, maybe even after hotel pool chlorine in Alicante. People who travel to the same place more than once? They also have a hunter fence in the front yard! But now everything is different. Because I found my place quite unexpectedly.
Ever since I first stood on the Sugar Loaf, looking at the city of Rio de Janeiro with my mouth open and my heart pounding, I’ve fallen for her. I have been there three times already; I will fly back as soon as I can. Yes, I became one of them. But I love the light, the air and the people in Rio. The music. The beach in the middle of the city. The heat and the breeze. Even the dirt. Here, for the first time, I understood the expression “like a fish in the water”. When I’m in Rio, everything feels right, I feel right.
My love of this place and my repeated journeys back has not been a rational decision, but there are some rational benefits:
1. I know what’s worth.
When you are in the same place for the third time, you know where to go and where you can not go. While fellow travelers frantically try to squeeze as many tourist attractions as possible in a few days (we still have to go to the Cristo!) And to the Sugar Loaf! And to Santa Teresa! And Lapa!), I lay calmly on the roof terrace, close my eyes and be easy. I have no tourist pressure anymore, I’ve seen everything before. Multiple.
2. I know my way around.
And that reduces the stress level considerably. I do not have to come up with a complex plan on how to get from A to B and where to buy what, where to get something to eat – by heart I know it by heart. Also, that, as in my case in Rio, patience is needed, not just for the road.
3. I speak the language.
At least rudimentary. I am now able to reasonably communicate in Portuguese and am not completely helpless or rely on dictionaries. This makes local life and contact with people much easier.
4. I found friends.
They are something of a second family, which unfortunately I see only once a year (which incidentally is more common than most of my “real” family). They are always happy when I come. That feels like home. Just with a lot more sun.
But my changed point of view may also have something to do with the realization of the difference between travel and holidays. A journey is there to discover and experience something new. This gives her a lot, but she also demands. Holidays, on the other hand, serve for recreation. And that works best without much thought. Where you know and feel comfortable, where you can let go. Main thing, happy.
And that’s why it’s fine to always go to the same place. It does not matter if it’s Rio, Alicante or Timmendorf.