This past year, I discussed how travelers tend to be chasing ghosts. We revisit places, trying to fully capture that initial amazingness we felt while we have there been.
& most of that time period we end up disappointed.
We return back and make an effort to re-create a thing that can’t be re-created. In ways, we all have been like drug addicts, simply trying to chase that first high.
But we are able to never quite reach it.
In the end, it is individuals who create our memories — not places.
Therefore this past year I vowed to never chase ghosts. It’s why I’ll never get back to Ko Lipe in Thailand, and just why I said I’d never get back to the Greek island of Ios.
The memories I manufactured in those places were too special, and I knew heading back wouldn’t be the same without the individuals who were there to begin with.
Yet here I am, writing this post from Ios, a location on my “usually do not return” list.
Yes, I returned here. Nonetheless it had nothing in connection with chasing the ghosts of travels past.
It had been my birthday on June 12. I turned 30. In marking that special day, I needed to go to a location where I knew I possibly could celebrate like I was turning 20.
And I needed to accomplish it on a beach.
There are many of places I possibly could have chosen (Lagos, Barcelona, Corfu), but I knew Ios could have everything I needed.
I’ll admit, I was reluctant another. But after a few friends of mine said they might come too, I thought, you will want to? Despite the fact that I knew I wouldn’t manage to recapture those old memories of Ios, I knew I’d still have a blast.
After fourteen days here, I’ve changed my mind about last year’s post. You can go back to a place but still think it’s great.
I’ve had only fun here. The locals remembered me. A lot of my friends from this past year returned. I’ve made new friends. I’ve learned a lot more about the island. I don’t regret returning at all.
I’ve avoided revisiting a whole lot of places for fear that I’ll “ruin” my initial experience there and leave disappointed. For example, in my own mind, Ko Lipe is a deserted island where I made lifelong friends.
Heading back to a now-developed island teeming with tourists will be something I couldn’t handle.
However in some cases, you can return back — you just need to return back for different reasons.
This season, I returned to Ios not because I needed to chase that high from this past year but because I needed to celebrate my birthday. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t want what I had this past year. I needed to party and ring in my own 30th birthday with my friends.
I came here with a different mindset this time around, realizing that what I had this past year was unique. It could never be re-created, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t keep coming back and make new memories.
Years from now, I probably won’t reminisce relating to this second visit to Ios like I’ll the first. Years from now, I probably won’t be speaking with folks from this trip like I’ll the first. But I came in recognizing that; I didn’t expect this visit to outshine my first.
Was I chasing ghosts in Ios?
I don’t think so.
Despite the fact that I believe we as humans are wired to carry onto those highs and make an effort to re-create them, heading back to a place you like doesn’t need to be about chasing ghosts. You can go back to a destination and just appreciate it for what it really is — an excellent place. But in the event that you expect it to be as effective as it was that first-time, you will end up disappointed in everything you find. Instead, come expecting nothing.
You need to be there to enjoy an excellent place as an excellent place, having a great time without comparing it to days gone by.
And you’ll leave your ghosts previously, where they are able to never haunt your current again.