When we go on vacation, we’re often drawn to places that suit our personalities.
Some people want an escape that’s completely different than anything they’re used to, while others know what they want and stick with it.
Our differences in personality are key to answering this age-old dilemma for travelers – but only you can be the judge of what side you’re on.
Two travelers walk into a bar…
If you like to travel, you’ve probably had this conversation with someone over dinner or a couple of beers.
Is it better to use your precious vacation days to go somewhere new each time, or is it comforting to go back to the same place over and over again?
Well, it all depends on the personality of the traveler, of course.
Do you like adventure, or do you like to play it safe? Are you bored – or comforted – by the familiar?
It’s great to try new things, to get out of our comfort zones, to take risks, but more often than not, that goes against basic human nature.
Most of us like to be surrounded by the people we know well and visit places where we know what to expect. There’s enough unknown in the world already for many of us.
We’re creatures of habit, and there’s something to be said for vacationing at the same place more than once – or even the same place every year.
Boring is in the eye of the beholder.
Once upon a time, I was a kid. And I was also a very free-spirited soul who liked to try new things. I constantly rearranged the furniture in my room, the posters on my walls (goodbye Matt Dillon, helllloooo Patrick Swayze), my hair color and style of dress.
And that need for change sometimes made me a little underwhelmed with going to see family at the same place every summer.
Sure, we’d do different things, but we’d stay in the same hotel, eat in the same restaurant, see the same people.
I wanted to go somewhere totally new and exciting each year, not hear the same obnoxious jokes from my uncle or be teased again about my height by my much taller cousins – with items constantly held over my head, just to be pulled out of my reach at the last moment. (Think Lucy teasing Charlie Brown with that football.)
Now, I’m still a free spirit. I still switch the furniture around constantly – much to the dismay of my husband and his toes – change my hair color all the time, and try new things whenever the opportunity presents itself.
But now, looking back, I’d give anything to be back in my aunt’s house with all its cobwebs, eating the turkey and cranberry sandwich I ordered every year at that same restaurant — basically, just having that experience one more time.
Change is a part of life, but when you find a good thing and can stick with it, you’re creating more than memories. You find a sense of peace, of belonging, and contentment.
This is my “happy place.”
That’s become a popular phrase recently, and for good reason. We all get that warm, fuzzy feeling when we’re in a place that’s meaningful to us.
And that’s why taking the same trip or the same annual vacation over and over can be so great.
You’re getting away from home and routine, but going someplace that still feels like home.
When you find a truly special little town, the perfect hidden beach, even a little bed and breakfast where the owners treat you like family, it’s something you look forward to.
You may know what to expect, but you’re also a lot less likely to be let down when the “new and exciting” doesn’t quite meet your expectations.
Why fix what’s not broken?
You’re still getting away from your ordinary, every-single-day routine.
You may even build some new relationships. The owners of the B&B remember exactly what muffins you like and how you take your coffee. The owner of the local ice cream joint gives your kids a free scoop each year and remembers their names.
Yes, you’ve developed a routine, but it’s a different routine, done so infrequently that you can’t wait to be back in it again. And that’s when it becomes truly special, when you’ve found your “happy place.”
Trying new things is a good thing. Seeing as much of this amazing world as you can is a great thing if you can do it.
But, sometimes, there’s nothing better than that one place that keeps drawing you back.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)