The danger of lists

A few months ago, I decided to write a list of all of the places in the world I would like to visit.  It was not intended to be a bucket list, more a record of inspiration to help me get started when I know I want to go away but I have the whole world to choose from.

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I’m at that stage now.  The Belgium trip is over, and I’m looking towards the next adventure.  I started thinking about this by checking out cheap flights from Newcastle and there are a few to Spain around the time I want to travel.  Great.  The only problem was, none of the flights went to any of the Spanish places I had on my list.

I started to fret.  Can I really plan a trip to somewhere not on the list?  After all, these are the places I want to travel to most in the world.  Won’t I just be wasting my time if I go somewhere else?

Then I realised just how ridiculous I was being.

The list I created was never supposed to define my travel.  It was just supposed to be a place where I could jot things down so if I read about somewhere I wanted to go or something I wanted to do, I wouldn’t forget it when I did come to planning my adventures.  It would be foolish of me to treat the list as the be all and end all – there are so many wonderful places I could miss out on if I stuck rigidly to visiting the places that I have heard of and think that I want to go.

If I had lived my life by my list, I would already have missed out on some adventures:-

1. Crete

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Despite absolutely melting in the heat, I have very fond memories of travelling to Crete.  The resorts are all very much catering for package holiday tourists (which I was), and I will be happy if I never set foot in Malia again.  But Crete has some stunning scenery, bags of history, very friendly locals and some of the best food I have ever eaten.

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2. Ibiza

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I never in a million years imagined that I would ever visit Ibiza.  Usually I would avoid anywhere so famous as a clubbing destination, full of drunk British teenagers.  However, I’m glad I went as I discovered that there is much more to Ibiza than clubs.  It has nice beaches, beautiful walks and the only river in the Balearic islands.

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3. Amsterdam

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I’ve never had much interest in visiting Amsterdam and I don’t think this would have made it onto my list.  Jim & I visited as a complete spur of the moment thing – we only booked it a couple of weeks before we travelled.  I discovered a city that totally exceeded my expectations.  It had lovely architecture with the narrow houses, a maze of beautiful canals, a lot of quirky museums and absolutely loads to do.  It is definitely a city that I would go back to – in our short break I feel we only scratched the surface of what Amsterdam has to offer.

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So, where next??

I haven’t organised the next adventure.  I know pretty much when I will go, but where is still a work in progress.  I haven’t even made the fundamental decision of whether I want a UK or abroad mini-break, and that will probably all come down to budget.

Wherever I end up next, I have definitely put the list back in its place, as a set of guidelines, not rules.

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