Travel is a curious thing.
We returned two weeks ago, and the first thing people ask is “What were the highlights?” or “What was your favourite part?” or “What were your top five places?”
It’s a difficult thing to measure. I loved meeting up with my international friends and family which is a whole different kind of wonderful to seeing megalithic monuments, and a different again to visiting a castle. These things can’t be compared. Why can’t it all be amazing?
Even things that one might consider to be poor experiences had nothing poor about them. Not serious stuff, but conversations with unusual strangers, or odd service at a pub or a quirk with your accommodation. These things add humour and texture to your experience. It’s makes your experience more meaningful, more memorable.
Similarly, every place has its sadness. People who were homeless, the odd filthy, graffitted street, places you wouldn’t wander alone at night, abandoned houses falling into ruin. They are small observations between all the wonder of travel.
Returning home, its like your ‘normal world’ has been highlighted. The local birdsong, the smell of eucalyptus, the blue mountains – everything is amplified.
This does not make or imply that one is better than the other. Only that, when separated from home, you’re able to view it more objectively.
With tourist eyes.