Can travel memories live up to reality?

 

Do you have that one special place that you’ve been to that left a significant impression and somehow changed you? It’s a place that you go back to in your memories, all happy and wonderful, yet somehow haven’t manged yet to physically go back to.  When an opportunity to visit again arrives, you jump on it, but do you wonder if the reality will live up to your memories?

This summer, we are going to two places I have not been to in a very long time. One of them is Rome, the other Paris.  If you’ve read my blog on travelling solo, you know that Paris is that special place in my heart. This year, almost 20 years after my first visit there, I’m going back with Alex and I’m so excited to show him the city that means so much to me. Will it be as amazing as I remember? Will he love it as much as I do? What if it’s horrible and totally sucks?

The last question is purely hypothetical one since I doubt Paris could ever be horrible, but you get the drift of where I’m going with this. What if I’ve built it up so much in my memories over the years that I’ll be disappointed when I get there? After all, 20 years is a very long time and many things can change.

Palace of Versailles
Château de Chambord
One of the better photos of Paris

I’ve always wanted to see Paris again in spring or summer, full of greenery and sunshine. When I went there the first time, it was the dead of winter.  The streets were rather drab and devoid of greenery, and there was no time to sit on a patio and people watch.  This time, it’s going to be the end of summer and the city will look very differently, which is almost like going to a new place. I honestly can’t imagine Alex not liking Paris and I’m super excited to go back.

I’m also very excited to return to Rome. It’s been about 13 years since I’ve been there and this will be my third visit. I enjoyed Rome the first time, found it a little bit changed when I went the second time, and I have no idea what to expect this time. We will be there only a few days, but we intend to enjoy them to the fullest. After all, it’s Rome!

Spanish Steps

The last time I went to these places, I had a shitty camera and not a lot of good pictures to look back on.  I don’t have one single image of the Eiffel Tower and only some, not so great, shots of Rome. I’m excited to go back to both places and capture new memories.

The last time I went to these places, I had a shitty camera and not a lot of good pictures to look back on.  I don’t have one single image of the Eiffel Tower and only some, not so great, shots of Rome. I’m excited to go back to both places and capture new memories.

Part of me, deep down inside, still wonders if it will be as good as I remember. Did time skew my memories of these places and the experiences? I guess I’m going to find out in few weeks.

Have you ever had a place you wanted to go back to? Was your return as good as you expected or was it a disappointment? Let me know 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Can travel memories live up to reality?

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  1. Or maybe you’ve built it up so much in your memories that everything will still be wonderful. Even if there is litter on the streets and weird smells. If you loved it so much the first time, I don’t think it could be a disappointment the second time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny part is that I do remember it covered in graffiti and there was so much dog crap an the sidewalks! I totally forgot that! 😁 I guess I was able to look past it so it can only get better

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  2. I’ve got a few places I would love to go back to, but I’m worried that I won’t feel the same. Still won’t stop me though, in the future when I have enough money/time to return and not so many other places to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no, neither of these cities can do the job of failing. Of living up to your memories which must have acquired an extra rosy tint over time. We are planning Rome in December enroute to India and I cannot tell you how we are looking forward to reviving our memories of last year. The only bummer about summer is the crowds. But it is all in the mind. Both Rome and Paris will romance you all over again surely. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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