For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will long to return. -Leonardo da Vinci
Before I started traveling the world I had a list of places that I wanted to go. My heart mostly reached out to Spain, one of my favorite places in the whole world. I think that many people have a travel bucket list. And, while I do support having dreams of travel destinations, the more I travel the less I like the idea of a travel bucket list.
The World Is So Big
The more and more you travel the bigger the world feels. You might think the world feels smaller but I can say that I have traveled to so many places in Europe and each time I go to one place I think of at least 5 more places I want to travel to. If I were to still have a travel bucket list I would cross one place off and need to add many more. The thing is, once you get a taste for travel the urge to go to new places in the world grows stronger and stronger. I got so restless in the 6 years I spent in the US after traveling and living in Spain. The heart wants what it wants. How do you make a list of all your travel hopes?
Can you really create a list of all the places you want to go? Can you really make a travel bucket list? I think back to what mine once was and it was something like this. Go to Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome… the cities just kept going. Then I would research a little more and get more specific. Go see the Eiffel Tower. See the Colleseum. But then the list just keeps going. Maybe travel bucket lists are just supposed to go on and on. I don’t know. Each time I sit down to make one the task is so overwhelming. I want to travel everywhere. I want to cover every inch of this world that I can and I want to travel to each place again and again.
Just because I have been to Paris or to Madrid, does this mean I cross an entire country off of my list? I have visited just one place for a small amount of time. I feel like travel bucket lists do more of a disservice to travelers than anything else.
Each Time I Visit A Place I Want to Return
Whenever I travel somewhere I always want to go back there. So, if I had a travel bucket list would I just cross out a place multiple times? I feel that the point of a bucket list is to say been there, done that, it was good, what’s next? I just don’t think travel works that way. The adventurer spirit inside of me says that you must return to destinations several times to get a good feel. The first time you visit a place is like flipping through a book and only looking at the pictures. You need a second, third, fourth, fifth, hundredth visit to begin to read the words and see the depth in any given place.
Think of your hometown. Each time you return there is something new to discover. It isn’t a one and done sort of thing. Each time you discover something new. Even if you return to the same place every year you would still discover new things about the place and about yourself. It just doesn’t seem right to cross destinations off the list with just one visit.
So What Do I Do?
I do keep track of my trips but each time I take a trip I just add more ideas in my head of where to head next. When I plan my trips I consider where I want to visit for the first time and where I want to return. Each time we travel we learn more about ourselves and the world around us. I just don’t think you can ever cross out a place as been there, done that. We are never really done visiting places because we keep changing and evolving as people and places keep changing and evolving. Isn’t that part of the joy of traveling?
What are your thoughts on travel bucket lists? Let me know in the comments below!