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?


14 thoughts on “Do you “Do” it when you travel?

  1. B says:

    I’m not a big fan of the phrase. Makes it seem like you only went somewhere to go there. Which I’m not totally opposed to, come to think of it, but there’s something quite cold about the idea to me – it lacks a sense of relationship with the places visited, or something. They’ve been “done”. Not the kind of holiday slide show I’d be keen for, put it that way.

  2. The Wandering Gourmand says:

    I love to do it when traveling. hotel rooms make it so exciting… but that’s not what you’re talking about. I understand where the blogger from National Geographic is coming from, however I think you just complaining to sound smarter than the rest of us. to answer your question, rarely do I visit the same place twice as there is just so much in the world to see and do. however, I would like to return to Ecuador and retrace my study abroad steps with my wife so she can see the beauty of the country and meet the family I stayed with.

  3. Connie Hanks - says:

    I’ve been to Paris a few times, but can never get enough! I still haven’t seen all the states in the US. I can’t wait to go back to Rome and Florence, London, Tahiti, Canada, okay, really, not too many places I’ve been to that I would consider “done” – I want to keep “doing” them : )

    • Tvor says:

      I probably wouldn’t have been back to London quite as many times if i didn’t have a boyfriend in Manchester. It’s really easy to go down for a couple of days on the train and I couldn’t be happier about it. We’re hoping to get back to Paris next year.

  4. jeritilley says:

    Unfortunately there are too many people who want to tick places off their list, and mark them as ‘done’. Not much point in travelling as the real purpose should be to EXPERIENCE something new and different, rather then just collect places into a list.

    • Tvor says:

      Good point, Yes there are a lot of checklisters. Though, for sure, there are some things that, having visited, or “done”, I wouldn’t do again unless someone wanted me to go with them, for instance, the London Eye or the Empire State Building. But museums and galleries having changing exhibits and absorbing the art is always amazing. Just being somewhere, walking the streets and neighbourhoods or browsing the shops, too, is always a unique experience

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