Do or don’t: vacation at the same place

Do you prefer to explore new destinations, or do you like to visit the same places? New places are exciting, but can be overwhelming. Returning to the same place is familiar, but is it boring?

If you know me, you know I am quasi-obsessed with The Greenbrier. And I’ve visited Hilton Head every year since I was six weeks old. (So have my kids!) I have years of memories baked into Hilton Head. I’ve ridden the same bike path for 40 (ish) years – with training wheels, wobbling along without training wheels, with a baby seat and baby attached to the back, and trailing behind my kids who just learned to ride their bikes. My memories as a child match their memories. How special is that?

Napa and Sonoma? Let’s go. There’s no other place in the world I’d rather visit. Even though I’ve visited several times, I want to go back. I want to have sandwiches at Dry Creek General Store. Pour me sparkling on the Gloria Ferrer porch. I’d choose it over any new destination in the world. Except, perhaps, Champagne, France. I would love to champagne my way around French wine country.

There’s a certain comfort in visiting the same place and knowing your way around a town and seeing old favorites again. You can still discover new spots. You can revisit your old favorites.

You could argue you’d never discover a new favorite if you always returned to the same spot. You’d be right. So maybe the answer is to try new places, but not always try new places?

Last year, our family visited Primland Resort in Virginia for the first time. It was supposed to be a one-time-only vacation to celebrate my in-laws’ anniversary. Somehow, we finagled a second trip this year since we had such an incredible time. Rather than a brand-new destination, we decided to go back to the same place.

Our kids were ecstatic. They talked about the trip for months after we left. When they found out we were going again, they couldn’t stop chattering about the things we would do. They had such great memories – and were excited to go back to the same place.

I’ll be sharing our recent trip in a few posts coming up – but I have to say, the second time around was a comfortable, slightly easier vacation. We were much more relaxed. We made more incredible memories trying new things and doing the same things we loved again.

It was familiar, and that’s comforting. And memorable.

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