Jets Like Taxis

Good day, people! An unending roller coaster of questions has berated us since we came back to the States to visit family, do paperwork, and begin our “Fabric of America” project.

I should say, “An unending roller coaster of one question has berated us.” Because, if you travel full-time like we do – or even travel a lot – the question you always get is: What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve lived? Or some version of that question.

Variations of this question include:

  • What’s the most exciting place you’ve been?
  • What’s your favorite place in the world?
  • Would you live permanently in your favorite place?
  • Favorite places are awesome. Tell me about your favorites, and then list them by how favorable they’ve been. In order of your favorite. And use bullets, or arrows, or chevrons, or numbers, or letters, or Roman-numeral-style outline indentations. Or maybe something from the MLA handbook.

I obviously made that last one up – or did I? – and it’s not even a question. But, you get the picture.

Jets Like Taxis

There’s certainly nothing wrong with asking this question. It’s a typical question a non-full-time traveler will ask a full-time traveler. If you travel a lot, or travel more than the person asking the question, you’ve probably encountered it in one form or another. Even your fellow full-time, location-independent nomad buddies may have asked you this question.

We have no favorite places. We have favorite moments in time. And often, these favorite moments cannot and will not be replicated, no matter how hard we try. This is because each and every moment in time is an amalgamation of various traits, people, weather, occurrences, yada yada yada.

Jets Like Taxis

During an email conversation with a reader the other day, she expressed how she misses her hometown and her roots. Everyone is free to do that, and it’s totally normal. But, this conversation emerged because she was sharing old pictures with us of her family’s ranch, telling us about her family’s history and such. My response was this:

Most of us have memories like that, but going back isn’t necessarily the answer to what you miss. I generally think it’s the people and the stories and what happened in each time and place. Most of those things cannot be replicated.

I really believe that. And while people ooh and ahh at the stories we wrote during our time in Montenegro (more than any other place, I suppose), everyone would be hard-pressed to have the same experiences. Hell, we would be hard-pressed to replicate those experiences. Chances are slim that we’d have a terrible time if or when we go back. But, we will not have the same experiences. No one will have the same experiences. And that does not – in any way – mean that someone else’s experiences, or our own experiences, will be any worse or less memorable.

It’s simply a matter of a hundred different things coming together for a particular moment in time. This is what makes an experience extraordinary.

Jets Like Taxis

I talk about this not because we’re annoyed at being asked that question every time we see an old friend, family member, or meet someone new. It’s completely normal to ask that question, and there’s nothing wrong with asking it.

I talk about this because being asked this question over and over again – and being unable to answer it – made me think more about why we cannot answer this question.

For us, our favorite place is usually where we are, who we’re with, or what we’re doing at a precise moment in time. Most likely, it has to do with the people who we’re fortunate enough to be around, along with a combination of time, place, attitude, and more. It’s certainly a favorite moment in time. In absolutely zero order. It could be…

A beautiful day on a beach in the Balkans…

Jets Like Taxis

A holiday with new friends and family in Montenegro…

Jets Like Taxis

A cold day and a crashing sea in Croatia…

Jets Like Taxis

Seeing a friend’s house turtle in Spain for the first time…

Jets Like Taxis

Dinner with new and old friends in the countryside in Germany…

Jets Like Taxis

My parents taking the time to have a vacation and visit us in Seville…

Jets Like Taxis

The first time I saw my sister in over two years…

Jets Like Taxis

Going to Argentina with two of the greatest people who ever lived…

Jets Like Taxis

Seeing this bathroom sign in Dublin…

Jets Like Taxis

A Swedish friend in a funny hat…

Jets Like Taxis

Our amazement at the fact that our friend Justin pulled off this picture…

Jets Like Taxis

And oftentimes, a bountiful array of delicious food.

Jets Like Taxis

You get the idea. Some things are trivial, some things are made for Creative Memories photo albums. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t. All of these things and everything else are favorites and memories we’ll treasure forever.

That said, what’s your favorite place? :-)

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What do you think about all this? Are we just jaded and wrong, or do we have some fair points? Let us know in the comments!