Different reasons for revisiting Places.
Lissette and I are back together after a few months of travelling separately. Besides spending some time with my son in Montreal and with my mother in Mexico, I had a 5 week trip through Morocco. During that time Lissette went back to her favorite place – Split (Croatia).
We had different reasons for wanting to visit each.
Going to Morocco was a challenge. I had been there in the 1980’s (when I was 17 years old) visiting with my mother and her 2nd husband. What I remember from Morocco was being traumatized. I remembered insistent beggars with leprosy, others with some kind of eye disease (big bulging white eyes that were milky and runny). In my memory – which I’m sure is nowhere close to reality – I just remember all these beggars with their hands out, some grabbing at me. It was like a bad zombie movie. I lived for a few years in southern Africa as a child and had never felt culture shock. But Morocco (specifically Marrakech) was the most intense place I had been and for the first time in my life I felt it. We were only there a week but I remember one day when I had had enough. I stayed at the hotel and lounged around the pool all day. I didn’t want to go out.
So when Lissette and I talked about doing solo trips I had Morocco at the top of the list. I just felt that I had to re-visit Morocco. I’ve previously written about why people should take the time to travel solo (I’m linking that post at the bottom). One of them is to challenge themselves. There were many reasons that I wanted to see Morocco: it’s exotic, colourful, it has amazing geography and many opportunities for adventure. But the main reason I wanted to visit Morocco was to redeem myself from that trip many, many years ago.
Lissette wanted to go back to Split for a couple of reasons. The first is that she loves Split (regular readers know that we lived there for a full year and considered working towards permanent residency in Croatia). But she also had her own nagging thoughts. Going back to Split was for her like returning to an old relationship. Would she fall in love with it all over, or would it just bring back nostalgia and old memories? Did she view Split with rose-tinted glasses? (I wrote about our different memories of having Split as a base here).
So we both had different trips for different reasons.
Different reasons, similar conclusions
I’m happy I spent 5 weeks in Morocco. I saw some incredible geography, some stunning sites, and met some nice people along the way.
It took me a few days initially to get into the “Morocco mindset”. But I did and I got increasingly comfortable. I travelled solo through most of the country, taking public transport along the way. My best “people” experiences were on these long bus trips. Like in most places the nicest people are those not in the tourism industry.
I feel I redeemed myself on this trip. I could come back and travel comfortably in Morocco. Did I love Morocco? No, I don’t feel that I have the need to come back. But if Lissette wants to visit one day I’ll happily be her tour guide.
Related: My Best (and Worst) of Morocco
Lissette is much more emotional about places than I am. Coming back to Split and spending the holidays there was difficult for her. In some ways her fears came true as she sometimes re-lived memories from a year ago. But revisiting Split by herself also allowed her to see things a bit more clearly and resolved issues that had been nagging at her. A few days ago we got on that ferry to Italy and this time there were no tears. Maybe it took this trip to get over Split. That’s not to say that she (or we) will never go back to Split – but if she does it will be as a visitor and without the pangs of loss that she previously felt.
We both had different reasons for going back to Morocco and Croatia. Both were challenges in different ways but we both felt that we needed resolution. I think now – more than ever – we look forward to another year of full-time travel and of discovering new destinations.
Plans for the next 3 months: Puglia (Italy), Northern Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey.
PS. Looking to book flights, hotels, tours, or rent a car? Have a look at our Travel Resources page.