Do you “Do” it when you travel?

Sarastro, Covent Garden. A very theatrical restaurant

Sarastro, Covent Garden. A very theatrical restaurant

The title relates to a blog post I read earlier today on National Geographic Traveler about tourists “doing” a destination, i.e. “We’ve done Paris”. It’s a pet peeve of the author of that blog, hearing tourists talking about “doing” a location because he feels you’re never done, especially if it’s a place you enjoy. You will want to return more than once to see it, to be there, to experience it again.

You can’t do everything there is to do in one visit or even many because there is always something different to see, do or experience. It’s true that you probably won’t go back and see the same major tourist attractions over and over but you might if it’s been awhile or if it’s something you really enjoyed. For instance, the big museums have permanent collections but unless you’ve seen every piece, there’s always a reason to go back. In addition, there are usually temporary exhibits that might be interesting too. Every time you go back to somewhere, there are new people to encounter, a different shop or two to find, a quiet corner of tranquility to discover or a surprise around the corner.

London is one of my favourite cities and I’ve been there over a dozen times for mostly short visits but a couple of times for stretches up to a week. I go back because I really don’t feel like I have “done” London. There are still neighbourhoods and attractions that I’ve not had the chance to visit, still lots of shopping and restaurants, and, in my case, there are friends with whom I like to catch up and touch base. I like the vibe of the city, the architecture and the history. London with my Mom was different than London with my partner or London on my own.

I sometimes do go back to some of the major attractions in London to refresh my memories and find new things to appreciate. Next time I get to London, there’s a visit to the Tower in store and maybe Hampton Court. I’ve been to both places but not for some time and my partner hasn’t been to either. I haven’t seen all of either place because they are both so vast that my feet give out before my curiosity does.

There are lots of places I want to go back to but there are also so many places I haven’t been that might become new favourites if only I could get there! To quote Andrew Evans of National Geographic Traveler in that blog post, ” When it comes to travel, the world is infinite and exciting, but I want to go back and continue the story in so many of the places I have already traveled to.”  Ain’t that the truth!!

Are there locations that you love? Places that you go back to? What draws you back?