Do you ever find yourself wanting to go back to the same holiday destination over and over again? Or variety and new places to see each time you travel much more your thing?
Time and other resources generously permitting, most of us would probably want a good mix of both but the reality is that one resource would be shorter than the other hence preferences should be made.
We're thinking of going back to Madeira again. I know we've been there several times before and on our last trip we made a little resolve to leave it many years before we go back again. There is so much of the world to see and yet so little free time to do so. Our visiting pattern used to be every after eighteen months and it has been much longer than that now since we last went there. Long enough to feel that the resolve has been fulfilled. But the island is now calling and resistance is feeling decidedly weak.
When thoughts of going back were mentioned to a friend he said that we are like an 'old couple' now, going back to the same place over and over again. I don't mind being called an 'old couple' (but do mind the general ageist connotation of it in other situations) and it doesn't bother me personally. In fact I found it mildly amusing to be called as such and also something to be proud of in more ways than one. However it does highlight that yes, perhaps its not youthful and adventures to keep going back to the same place again.
But we love the place so why not!
Gaz likens Madeira to a comfy old sweater. There may be several new sweaters in the drawer but there's always that one particular trusty, comfy, and reliable piece that is so nice to keep taking out and putting on. A guilty pleasure. I agree with him.
But were there actually other 'new sweaters' to choose from? Yes, New Orleans and Tenerife, two places that we haven't been to and seemed comfortable enough to visit in the middle of February. They are also do-able in a week without crazy lengths of travel time to and from there. New Orleans was winning at one point especially with the Mardi Gras on the horizon (February 17 to be exact) but decided that if we did go it was best to avoid the week of that event. If we're only there for a short period, being the 'old couple' that we are prefer to be there in more sedate circumstances.
But that old sweater is just so hard to ignore!
Back to Madeira, what's not to like with the place when:
The entire island is an exotic garden!
Beautiful sceneries abound and if you like plants and gardens you'll be spoilt for choice.
So easy to get around by public transport, although hiring a car is very highly recommended too.
And if you do drive, there are no traffic to contend (but you do have steep hills to climb) and it's so easy to get around. You can drive and drive around and not run out of beautiful things to see.
Amazingly well connected, they have free wi-fi in the public areas of even the smallest and remotest of their towns or villages with seemingly not a soul out on sight.
Mild, spring like weather all year round.
Relatively inexpensive food and accommodation without a fall on standards. Warm and friendly people.
I could go on and on but I suppose you'll get my gist now.
Saying that though, Gaz can imagine himself living there while I couldn't! Not until we're mid fifties at least. I can perhaps stay there for two weeks tops, any more than that I'll be banging my head on a brick wall. Far too sedate for my liking, it's great for a holiday but not so for long term living. For now anyway...
Having been there a few times before at least we don't have to think too hard about what to do and where to go the moment we get there. I suppose that's one of the appeals, familiarity is so much easier on the mind and very conducive to instant relaxation. Like an old sweater you know it's going to be comfy even before you put it on.
|All photos taken in 2011|
So will it be the old sweater or the new sweater for the old couple? Best to shake up the drawer and pull out the first thing that the hand grabs whilst eyes are closed....