One of the challenges for people who love traveling is deciding between going someplace new versus going back to someplace visited before. At first, it seems like a pretty straight forward decision, why not go someplace where you’ve never been? On the other hand, there are definite reasons for going back to a location. If we could travel as often as we wanted, we would do a mix of both as we always love seeing new places, but there are many places that we wish we would have had more time to see or would like to see it at a different time of year.
Clearly, going someplace new is always exciting and interesting. There can, however, be some challenges when traveling someplace new such as visa requirements, learning some of the language, having to research travel and accommodations, etc. Excitement can also mean anxiety about the unknown and, depending upon where you are going, uncertainty about safety. What if you choose the wrong part of town to stay in, which of the multitude of things to see should you prioritize, whose information do you trust? With all of that said, that is what creates the adrenaline and anticipation that we truly enjoy.
There are few places that we’ve visited that we haven’t at least once said that we hoped to go back to. There are also some places that we have gone to more than once and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Even after only a single visit, returning to those places has a sense of familiarity that is calming. The time during the returning trip seems much more relaxed as there isn’t the sense that you have to rush to see every possible sight as you’ve seen many of them before. It almost like seeing an old friend that you’ve missed for a few years. Paris is one of those places that we have been to more than once and would return to several times again.
Unfortunately, we don’t have unlimited resources or time to travel to every place that we would like. Our next trip is in a couple of weeks to Carlsbad, California, a place that we haven’t been to before. If we had to choose only one option, we suppose that we would choose going to someplace new, but we are certainly glad that we don’t have to limit our choice. If you had to make a choice, which would you choose?
Deciding where you want to spend your money and time visiting can be one of the more stressful decisions that anyone can make before traveling. There are many ways to make that decision and some of those might be determined by your personality. Some people are willing to throw a dart at a map and randomly go wherever fate might take them and other people use very rigid logic in making that decision. There are times when you pick a location because it has always been on your bucket list and there are other times when you have a fixed budget and you find a place that fits within it.
We choose our destinations based on a mix of all of those styles. We generally start with a relative date in mind and definitely have a budget in mind. From there we generally start searching airfares for a variety of locations as that is often the bulk of the expense and there aren’t always as many options. We try to go to someplace that we haven’t before and we basically start with several cities across those locations and then look for airfares using different apps. A good example of this was our first trip to South America where we looked at Peru, Columbia, Chile, but ultimately ended up choosing Bolivia.
During our time in Europe, choosing a location was far more random, but basically followed the same pattern. We would sit down for dinner on a Wednesday evening and toss out ideas of where to go that weekend and then check prices. Because we were traveling on fairly short notice, availability of transportation and hotels was usually a bigger deciding factor. If there was limited availability, it would normally drive prices up and we would decide to go someplace else.
We are currently trying to figure out our next big trip that will take place in the near future and are struggling with making a decision. Part of that is due to our own schedules and nailing down a time window and part of that is finding reasonable prices for the places that we are considering. We are leaning towards some place in Asia, but who knows if that is where we will end up traveling. This might sound insane to some people who plan things out years in advance, but for us, picking a destination can be as much a part of the adventure as the actual trip. How do you pick the places that you visit?
For good or bad, people have a tendency to focus on what is coming around the next corner. Travelers tend to spend a fair amount of time researching and planning their next adventure, which can be a good thing as it can be diverting from the day to day drudgery. Thinking about the possibilities of what is coming next actually releases endorphins that makes you feel good. In that same way, dreaming about what you would do if you win the lottery actually reduces stress and makes people happier, even if they don’t win. Dreaming about your next big trip has the same effect and can be a wonderful way to make traveling a year long adventure and not just limited to the few weeks that you are actually on the road. With that in mind, for this week’s Cee’s Which Way Challenge, here a few photos to help us think about what is coming around the next corner.