Perhaps it’s the time of year or the stage in my life, but I got to thinking about all the wonderful places I’ve travelled. I’ve been blessed with a career and an adventurous spirit that have opened the world to me. I’ve returned more than once to those places that have drawn me in and continue to occupy a piece of my heart.
One such place is Bequia, (pronounced Beck-way), a small 7 sq. mi. island making up part of the archipelago known as St. Vincent & The Grenadines in the Caribbean. I discovered this intriguing island while sailing one Christmas with my family. The memory of arriving into Port Elizabeth on Christmas Eve (1980) was a site I will never forget. Boats sailed from all over the world to make it to Bequia for Christmas. We eventually had to raft with seven other boats, so you can imagine the fun we had going ashore.
Bequia has a festival called Nine Mornings which is not celebrated anywhere else in the world. For the nine mornings before Christmas, revellers get up early to the beating of drums and have a “social get-together” including a brunch before heading off to work. Granted not much work got done during those nine days!
On Christmas Day, carollers came around in their boats and sang with their ukuleles, harmonicas and whatever else they had on hand. It certainly made for a Christmas to remember. I told myself that one day I would return…and that I did, 5 years later…and I stayed. This is where I started my business, Hibiscus International, to help clients design authentic cultural and sustainable tours with insider experiences.
Now not everyone goes to such extremes, but how often have you thought about returning to that one spot that perhaps changed your life or had a profound impact on you.
Returning to a much-loved destination can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you approach it. Here are some tips for travelling back in time and revisiting a place you’ve held dear in your heart…to ensure it stays there.
- Think about why it is you are drawn to this place and set your expectations accordingly. Few things will be the same as they were the first time you visited.
- Plan ahead to do NEW things and create NEW memories.
- If you’re returning with a person who was not there the first time, don’t keep dwelling on “how things used to be”. It’s not fair to their first experience.
- Visit some of the people you met the first time and be sure to share how they were part of your journey.
- Don’t rush around and show your travelling companion(s) everything. Take time to sit and reflect. Savour the moment.
- Just book it and go!