Travel Destinations: the New or the Familiar?


Nantucket has been a vacation destination for our family for 21 years. Once, for our tenth anniversary, we lingered for a week in a bed-and-breakfast inn. We've gone to Nantucket for day trips, for overnights, and for longer stays. Julia and I just returned from three days there. From rounding the iconic Brant Point lighthouse to discovering new bakeries or new-to-us beaches, Nantucket never disappoints! There's something comforting...or rather wonderfully comfortable...about returning to one vacation destination over and over again. And I'm wondering how you feel about that? Do you prefer to always explore new travel destinations, or is your heart smitten with a traditional family vacation spot?


My immediate answer would be that I like exploring the new, seeing places I've always wanted to see, and making the unknown known and familiar to me. But Nantucket has me rethinking that. There is an endearing quality to renewing your acquaintance with a distant "friend", getting to know them better, and to part with a deepened love.

But even the familiar family vacation spot is enhanced and enlivened by new discoveries. So while I enjoyed my traditional dawn walks on the island, exploring its quiet streets and slumbering houses with my camera for a couple of hours before everything awakens, I also craved the thrill of new discoveries.




Bicycling to Steps Beach, a hidden gem accessed at the end of a quiet, residential street via a footpath and a staircase, was one such discovery on this trip to Nantucket. When we reached the beach, we almost felt like trespassers who had tread upon land too marvelous to be imagined...the roaring waves on one side, the windswept sand dune with waving beach grass within touch of our fingertips to the other, a generous sprinkling of seashells at our feet, and an ever changing cloudscape overhead. All those trips to the island and we never knew about this glorious site! I fell in love with Nantucket all over again!




How about you? I'd love to hear how you prefer to vacation! Please leave a comment to join the conversation. Do you seek the new or embrace the favorite?

8 comments:

  1. I do love seeing new places, but I must admit that when I was growing up that we lived an hour and a half from where I do now...the beach. I loved going to the same place year after year. There is a great thing with the familiarity especially in a coastal location. Now that I have lived along the coast for 35 years we love visiting the college town where we met about three hours away on a regular visit. It is just far enough north to get a different feel than the coast, so I guess my answer is I love going back to a favorite. I do have some bucket list places to go to at some point.

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    1. Maybe it's the balance that is the best? Some of the familiar with just enough of the novel to keep life stimulating? And I, too, like a balance of coastal and inland. And I like rural and big city too. What's on your bucket list?

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    2. The bucket list is two fold. The spouse would like to go to Normandy and follow the trail his dad did in WWII. I would totally love it since I am a history buff. My family was stationed in Germany from 1961-63, so I would like to do some Germany touring as well. I have actually never been to the northeast corner of the US where you are, so that is on my bucket list. Hubby is just a few years away from retirement so we are planning some trips then. For now, we have quite a bit on our plate with an aging mom, and a grandchild but it is coming.

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    3. Those are great plans! My brother and his family went to Normandy a few years ago, and said it was moving and important and memorable.
      And, naturally, I HIGHLY recommend New England! ;-)

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  2. I lean more to the new experience, but appreciate stays at our local beach where I've gone for years. Your Nantucket trip is one I would love to take!

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    1. A blending of the two is the best of both worlds!
      I highly recommend Nantucket! Always! ;-)

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  3. my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on that delightful island and returned annually for many years that followed . . . generally in the "off" seasons which were quietly to our liking. We are not big travelers and appreciate seeking new destinations YET there is a pull to those few very special places which supply what we crave and provide a sort of homecoming away from home. You have got me to thinking we are way overdue for a visit to Nantucket.

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    1. We celebrated our 10th and our 25th on Nantucket! It's the best! We like the quiet, off-season too...early October is our favorite. We've discovered that March is TOO off-season for us...like to have more than one choice of restaurant for dinner.
      I hope you get to go back soon!

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