As the title of this blog post asks: does traveling a lot make one harder to please?
My short answer: Depends on who you are and what you like.
My long answer: Read below.
The question occurred to me after a conversation with a friend. I was recently in Toronto trying to decide how to pass the time, and a number of people had suggested to me that I go up to the top of the CN Tower.
At first I thought, yes I should do that! Let me look into it some more. But then, to be completely honest, the more I looked into it, the less interested I became. And it wasn’t because the CN Tower isn’t a great attraction; it is! I just felt dissatisfied with the idea of waiting in a line to go up to the top of the CN Tower and look out at the Toronto landscape when the defining piece of architecture in the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower. I also was short on time and didn’t feel like it was something I needed to do at that point in time.
It’s also exactly how I feel about going to the top of the Empire State Building; I want the view with the Empire State Building in it, not from it (pro tip: go to Bar SixtyFive instead so you can see the NYC skyline with the Empire State Building and not pay however much money for Top of the Rock).
Am I harder to please because I’ve traveled more than the average person?
I mentioned my rationale to a friend and she agreed with me but also pointed out that I’m likely harder to please with tourist attractions because I’ve traveled so much. And that comment got me thinking, am I harder to please because I’ve traveled more than the average person?
I definitely think there’s an element of truth to that, where the more cities I visit, the more there are elements that can sometimes blur together. Or, for example, how the beauty of European architecture doesn’t have as much of a “wow” factor for me the more I travel around Europe (which admittedly is the case with some cities).
I acknowledge that those things can and certainly do happen, but I also find that I’m continuously awed by so many things and so many moments no matter how much I travel. Like one of the mornings I spent in Toronto walking by the lake and enjoying the fall leaves swirling on the ground near a dog park (love those dog parks). Or the time I went for a run in Hyde Park and saw a small group riding horses through the park on what was a brisk but perfectly sunny morning in London. Or the time I went running along the beach in Lima and spotted a surfing lesson taking place with families filming their loved ones as they tackled the waves.
Even when I may find a particular tourist activity or architecture not that appealing or memorable, there is always something that I find that pleases me immensely.
I suppose I could see those things, which aren’t necessarily unique activities, in a number of cities but there’s something about the specific moment, location and feeling that made it all come together in a memorable way, and that’s part of why I love traveling so much. Even when I may find a particular tourist activity or architecture not that appealing or memorable, there is always something that I find that pleases me immensely and makes me enjoy wherever I am. But I’m also that person who, despite living in New York for more than a decade, still has a number of those moments just going for a walk in my neighborhood. It’s just how I’m wired.
In short, I wouldn’t say traveling a lot makes me harder to please. I would say it makes me more eager to experience those seemingly simple moments that end up being memorable. And that may mean I bypass or am just not interested in a typical tourist attraction.
What are your thoughts? Do you think traveling a lot makes one harder to please?