The other day someone commented on my Instagram stories that I write about Greece a lot. His question was in response to my post stating I was returning to Greece on Tuesday. The person asked what I like about Greece besides the beaches. Of course, I responded to him the people and the food. Of course, after some deeper thought, the reason is much more than that.
Visit New Cities
One of the main reasons I choose to return to a country is to visit more cities. Most of the time, I stick to one city or place during a trip as I don’t like to change hotels multiple times. It also means I get to know the city better. However, this usually limits how many places I can visit in a country at once.
Italy is a great example, I have been four times and still haven’t visited all the major cities. I have even returned to Florence multiple times because there is so much to see. In Greece, there are over 200 inhabited islands, and I have only visited 14! Lots more to go.
Immerse Yourself in the Culture
It can be hard to immerse yourself in the culture if you are running through multiple places in a week or two. By returning several times, I can get to know a place much better. I make friends. I sit, and people watch because I have the time. I tend to pick up more of the language if I am there multiple times as well.
Since I usually stay in one place, I try to find accommodation I can cook in. This forces me to grocery shop. I have learned to weigh my fruits and vegetables in Europe and the Middle East. I bring my shopping bag to Europe, so I don’t get charged a bag fee. I watch what the locals are buying and translate labels. I try to understand what a local’s daily life is like.
While in Greece last year, I took the public bus one day in the afternoon. I was able to witness the local children go home from school this way. The public bus is their school bus, and the driver knew where to drop each one. The kids chatted with each other. What struck me the most is that all of the girls looked so similar with their sunkissed brown hair. I thought they could be sisters, but each one got off at a different stop.
Go Where You Love
We all have some level of fear of missing out, and I think that is why many of us continue to go to new places. However, I enjoy going back to the areas I have fallen in love with. They give me joy and peace. Going to Greece feels like going to my second home.
I am not a person that enjoys figuring out how to get from the airport into the city I am visiting. Returning to a place I have already been reduces the stress of travel planning. Of course, I know lots of people who enjoy that aspect of travel.
Sometimes going where you love is seeing people you love too and not so much about the place. I plan on returning to Qatar soon to visit friends. I know Qatar very well, so returning will not be about seeing sights, but about reconnecting with friends and visiting old favorites.
We should all travel for our reasons and not feel pressured to go somewhere new just because it’s new. Go where you want!
What country or city have you been that you continuously revisit?