Going Back vs. Moving On

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Alfama – Lisbon – Portugal – November 2015 

I overthink a lot of situations in life, so it’s no surprise that there are times when it comes to travel when my mind isn’t exactly at ease when making decisions. Should I go back or should I go somewhere completely new? Do I stay at the same hostel or do I try a new one? Do I really need to eat pizza here again?

My decisions- whether I like to admit or not- are heavily influence by outside persuasion. I read a lot of blogs, listen to a lot of fellow travellers and I make a lot of little mistakes. And although I don’t want them to affect the way I approach opportunity, I tend to listen to them anyway:

Jennifer said that she only ever travels to new cities/towns and she has been travelling for a year, so she must be right

Remember the time you went to 22 Jump Street three times in 1 week and it got better every time!?

The first time was special because of the people there at the same time, how do I know it will be the same this time?

All of these thoughts run through my mind and I have found that it’s been coming up a lot more often. I first arrived in Portugal, in November. I had the greatest time at Yes! Lisbon Hostel where I stayed for about 5-6 days. I eventually ventured up to Porto for another week before returning to Lisbon.

I wasn’t worried about seeing the city again, mostly because I had spent too much time out at night to spend enough time outside during the day. No. This time I was worried about going back to the same hostel.

The first time I was at Yes! Lisbon I had the time of my life. I took part in every hostel dinner/happy hour, I went out almost every night and I spent some time around some amazing people. It was hard to picture going back to the same hostel. So I looked into/booked a different hostel. I went with my gut and felt good. I was also excited to try something new. However, during my train ride down to Lisbon those thoughts crept up again. And even though I made my initial decision based on my gut and was fine, I began to doubt my own decision and eventually booked back into the same hostel.

While I did manage to meet up with a friend and had a good time-it just didn’t live up to the first time. And while Yes! Lisbon will always be my favourite hostel I do regret not trying a new place out and potentially meeting a new group of friends that way. I was way too comfortable at Yes the second time around.

This came up a few times on my venture back into Germany during my last month away. Do I go back to Freiburg again? Do I really need to go to Dresden when I have already spent a week there? Is booking the remainder of my trip around a stop in Munich really worth doing? In all cases I ignored my initial feelings and now wonder how I could have better spent my time elsewhere rather than going back.

I am trying to ignore those thoughts now. Something about NYC urges me to visit again, so I am listening to that…twice. Something tells me I should  go to S. Korea or Thailand next time I get a week off. Something is telling me to go back to Portugal and the Cinque Terre one day, and I am most definitely remembering that. I know these are feelings that are pure and not influenced by other things, so I do my best to go with them rather than overthinking again

I guess the point is to listen to your gut. Because more often than not you will be happy with that decision. As soon as you let yourself overthink an adventure/situation it alters your experience. Remember that when those thoughts creep up and trust that feeling. You will always surprise yourself. 

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Vernazza – Cinque Terre – Italy – October, 2015 

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