I’ve been invited by Lola of Lola Travels to list my three travel regrets. Even though I couldn’t think of them right away, there’s no denying that there are a few.
The notion of travel-related disappointments hardly enters my mind. I set off on my journeys with an open mind and expecting to have a good time, even though I realize that not every place or experience will be equally thrilling. The only potential regrets I could think of is avoiding a destination only because it’s off the mainstream travel radar (I’m glad I didn’t listen to warnings against visiting Tijuana), or… not traveling enough.
Yet, there are things that I didn’t do when I had the chance, and now I wish I had. Two of them involve New York City, a place I didn’t fully appreciate until the third visit.
During my first trip to NYC in 1999, I decided against going to a New York Yankees game at the original Yankee Stadium. On that day, pitcher David Cone threw a perfect game against the Montreal Expos.
I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with my choice, given that the exact scenario could never be repeated – the stadium has since been demolished and the Expos no longer exist (the team moved to Washington, DC in 2004).
My excuse? I was a new baseball fan back then, and rooting for the Chicago White Sox, not the Yankees or Expos. Plus, it didn’t even cross my mind that one day I’d set a goal to visit every Major League Baseball stadium. Now I think twice before saying no to a sports game on the road.
On my second visit to New York in 2000, I went to the World Trade Center plaza, but skipped the observation deck. I can’t quite recall why – perhaps I was more interested in going up the Empire State Building. The next time I saw the twin towers was on TV in September of the following year…
My wishing that the buildings were still there naturally has nothing to do with travel. However, the WTC plaza experience taught me to never take things for granted.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been into foreign languages. My introduction to real-life French happened at the age of 11, when I briefly lived in Algeria and attended elementary school. I didn’t know much beyond bonjour and the numerals, but the immersion program quickly changed that.
Unfortunately, our family’s stay in Algeria was cut short due to domestic turmoil in the country. Learning the language didn’t continue much longer either, which nowadays is one of my biggest regrets.
If you look around JA, you might notice how much affection I have for Paris. Had I known years ago that I would develop this city-crush, perhaps I’d be fluent in French by now. But not all is lost – I have recently dusted off my textbook.
What about you – do you have any travel regrets?