Returning to Familiarity – Portugal

I have never been able to understand why people return to the same holiday destination year on year; whether it be because of a second home or a love for a particular country or region. I think I have just always thought – ‘what about the rest of the world?!’ . Once again however I have been proved wrong (this blog is making me realise that I really must stop the judgemental attitude!).

Matt (my significant other) ‘s family own a lovely three bed house in the Algarve, Portugal and I was invited to join them for a week a couple of years ago. This was my first time to Portugal and it was great to have my own personal tour guides; his family taking me to their favourite beaches, restaurants and towns. However while I loved this holiday and could now understand why Matt spoke so fondly of the area, I still couldn’t see myself returning regularly with the same enthusiasm.


Fast-forward a year later and I found myself on a plane back to Faro airport, this time for a couple of weeks with just Matt. His parents had hired a car for us which meant that we were able to get to everywhere we desired, and I remember travelling around and realising that I remembered a lot of the places that we had visited the previous year. I knew which restaurants I liked and wanted to return too, I knew that I loved Lagos and its trinket market and I knew that the supermarket sold the nicest chocolate biscuits (priorities people). It was comforting and I found myself revelling in it. A home-from-home all of a sudden seemed appealing; somewhere to escape to without the stress of sourcing a hotel or hostel or location. So comforting in fact that I was severely disappointed that I was unable to visit again this summer just gone. What has happened to me?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for seeing as many countries as possible in my lifetime and I want to be able to always explore new and exciting cultures. I guess now however I have been able to sample the familiarity of a second home and the attachment to a place that comes with that. You know – when I manage to actually bag myself my dream career, maybe a repeat holiday haunt wouldn’t be such a bad idea!

3 thoughts on “Returning to Familiarity – Portugal

  1. There has to be a balance for everything, I guess. I too thought I would never returned to the same place twice, but find myself doing it occasionally… there is something nice about knowing a place, where you get to know it more deeply when you return. The first time you visit a place, you don’t have a context for what the place is about, when you go back, it’s like you have a better appreciation for what’s there.

    Doesn’t mean you give up exploring new places though!


  2. I always had the same attitude! Although I didn’t really go on holidays as a child/teenager, when my friends would repeatedly go back to Benidorm or Greece or Turkey or Florida with their families year after year I just couldn’t understand why! It seemed like such a waste of time and money to go back and do everything you’ve already done and see everything you’ve already seen.
    Then I went to Peru in 2011 and kind of fell in love and have gone back twice since! The same happened with India and Germany.
    I still wouldn’t just visit one place/resort exclusively as I know many people do, but I think that if you love a place, you love a place! So enjoy it as much and as often as you like! 🙂
    And also, Portugal looks like such a beautiful country – why wouldn’t you wanna go back?!


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