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"I want to go right there!" or: how do you decide to go to which place?

 
Author Astraftis
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 17 Jul 2021 17:42 | Edited by: Astraftis 
So, as of late I was wondering what are the general decision-taking processes of travellers regarding their next destinations.

That is, more precisely: how do you decide to go to a place, and why exactly there? Surely WHSs are a main component of travel itineraries of most people on this site, but since they are scattered (admittedly unevenly) all over the globe, WHS-hunting might to a greater extent overlap with generally intended travel.

I'm asking this because I usually need The Inspiration before truly planning anything with regard to medium-long journeys and wondered who else does and if this is not just some kind of contorted loop I force myself to pass through. The fact is that I (of course) have a neverending list of places that interest, fascinate and attract me, coming from what I have seen, learnt or read about them: and they cover more or less half of the world. But many can just sit there patiently, because I'll "pick them up" only if I get the inspiration. An example is Iceland. The Inspiration usually manifests itself around early spring of a given year: it starts slowly, as a blurred sensation, but soon and to some extent unexpectedly everything comes together and then I know that I have to go (or try to go...) to that place. Before it materialises, I may be mislead by superficial desires and begin e.g. reading guides about given destinations which, however, in the end do not click. And what constitutes an inspiration is apparently made of random, minor inputs that I pick up from everyday life: be it a curious-sounding word, a football match, a night at the pub, a song...
It can also happen quite suddenly: once I was pondering the idea of a trip to Oman or Rwanda (I think... anyway, in tropical Africa) but, browsing through a catalogue, I saw the description of an itinerary to Nepal, and bam! it was there. Nepal never had been on my wish list!!! But it made something click (and in the end it was a great, though intense, trip).

OK, so I hope not to have convinced you that I am mad, at least not completely. Of course I can go everywhere and enjoy it, but the starting spirit is quite different if the Inspiration is on board or not. However, lately I was thinking I might give a try to a randomly generated destination in an attempt to break free from some mental circuits by which I might tend not to go to certain places, because they "do not ispire" me.

How do you choose your next destination?

PS: I am really not mad :-)

Author csarica
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 18 Jul 2021 00:01 
Scientific congresses. I have been giving myself a few days of traveling after each congress. I am choosing only congresses that take place in where I have never been to. The beauty or the charm of the place is never important for me. I get the same excitement from anywhere that I have been for the first time. I prefer going to Afghanistan if it will be my first time there than going to Paris for a second time.

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 18 Jul 2021 13:00 
If all goes well again (of course covid19 year was terrible) I will travel for work again to Singapore/Beijing/Moscow/BuenosAires/SaoPaulo/USA/Tokyo every year. after 3-5 days work i select a nearby area (preferred difficult one) to go for 6-10 days.

Secondly, the family holidays. we choose a country and plan around WHS. to some we all go, to some part........

any specifics? no, i check best flights and hotel deals.

Author kintante
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 19 Jul 2021 01:31 
I am one of these mad "if it's on the list I want to see it" people. For short trips the criteria are availability of flights, good weather and the amount of WHS reachable from a specific airport. For longer trips I am currently restricted to places that have reasonable infrastructure in case someone gets sick. But in general I am currently more attracted to places where I can visit the most WHS and TWHS per day.

Author clyde
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 19 Jul 2021 03:09 
I think you're not the only "mad" person here, join the club! :)

Initially till I reached around 250-300 WHS, I used to choose mainly WHS hotspots for road trips in Europe and longer long haul trips worldwide.

There were a couple of random choices here and there simply out of curiosity and non-WHS related (ex. Myanmar or Costa Rica; in the latter I picked up my interest in birdwatching too). Then there are those getaway beach destinations too (ex. Maldives, Seychelles, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, etc.).

After the 300 WHS milestone, I decided to choose what in my mind were the 100 top remaining WHS I hadn't visited yet, and if possible try to visit some of them. I'm down to 42 remaining now, scattered in 28 countries. The majority were truly top WHS, although there were a couple which weren't really top WHS.

Like others here, I prefer visiting a new country or area than a repeat visit (probably Italy is the only exception).

Author Jurre
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 19 Jul 2021 05:32 
clyde:
The majority were truly top WHS, although there were a couple which weren't really top WHS.

I'm curious to know which ones fulfilled your expectations and which ones didn't really live up to them.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 19 Jul 2021 12:07 
For a while logistics used to be a key driver: Are there affordable flights? Are there several WHS? ...

Nowadays though I plan from the top sites (places I want to go) and the logistics are a means to an end. E.g. I went to New Zealand and scored only 2 WHS in 2 weeks. But... I combined my goal (New Zealand) with a few layovers here and there (Singapore, Sydney, China), so total number wasn't too bad. Or if I make it to Jerusalem, rest assured that Israel will be fully ticked. ;)

And yeah, I keep a mental backlog and check what works and what doesn't. So, there is never the one place I need to go, more several parallel ideas. Right now, ... Ecuador, Israel, Morocco, Samarkand, Azores, northern Spain ... Something will pop up. And with Covid having more than one plan is quite useful anyhow.

Author carmendavid
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 20 Jul 2021 03:23 
After several years of picking places here and there, in 2019 I made my 'essential list within budget'. The plan was to travel intensively outside of Europe for a few years and 2020 saw a lot of tickets booked in January and then cancelled one after the other. Covid forced me to reconfigure trips to mainly Europe (I always thought these can wait) and then be flexible when even these get cancelled - when the balloon flight in Cappadocia got cancelled, I decided to go to Uzbekistan less than a week before the flight.

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 20 Jul 2021 03:45 
carmendavid
I'm actually happy I haven't done much in Europe earlier. I always concentrated if I had to go for work for the difficult places.
Summer 2020: Croatia and Andorra only.... Covid19.... now summer 2021 I start again to tick off a lot in Europe. I hope to visit 100 WHS places in 2021 in Europe.

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 21 Jul 2021 18:33 | Edited by: Astraftis 
Interesting to read your responses!

It appears that convenience is a greater factor overall than I had expected. Of course it is a factor for me too, that's why in more juvenile years I was mostly "confined" to Europe, and so The Inspiration had to deal with that :-) But also now I find some destinations a little difficult to achieve (e.g. Polynesia). Anyway, I tend to put it at second place and trying to optimise economic factors after I choose a place to go.
We also all seem quite reluctant to revisit places we have already been, and this was to be expected! ;-) I also choose always new countires as destinations, even if I wouldn't mind going back to a place 15-20 years after the last time, or even more. But, even if I don't like the idea too much at first, sometimes even unknown regions of an already visited countries can qualify as totally new destinations for me too, for example, wouldn't mind going to Bayern even if I visited many other parts of Germany quite extensively.

csarica:
Scientific congresses.

Wow, do you find such an ample choice of venues? In my field I got the impression that most congresses take place in "boring" locations, more or less always the same ones. To this I add that right now my institution surely would not found me a trip to more exotic ones like Japan or North America, unfortunately... But I also tack on some days of travelling on the occasions I go (of course, the last 1,5 year has been horrible under that regard...), even if, again, it is always a struggle with the institution in justifying "strange" and delayed return trips. A thing which really angers me (since I do not profit of funds for private reasons in any way).

clyde:
There were a couple of random choices here and there simply out of curiosity and non-WHS related (ex. Myanmar or Costa Rica; in the latter I picked up my interest in birdwatching too). Then there are those getaway beach destinations too (ex. Maldives, Seychelles, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, etc.).

Oh, I made a similar choice for Myanmar too, and I count it as my best travel experience so far, an incredible journey. I think it is one of the best possible bets (when it is possible to go there...): it is such a culturally, historically and naturally rich place that its sites have not become WHSs yet only because of political reasons (just think of Bagan!!!). I'm sure it will give us some "home ticks" in the future... ;-)

nfmungard:
Nowadays though I plan from the top sites (places I want to go) and the logistics are a means to an end. E.g. I went to New Zealand and scored only 2 WHS in 2 weeks. But... I combined my goal (New Zealand) with a few layovers here and there (Singapore, Sydney, China), so total number wasn't too bad. Or if I make it to Jerusalem, rest assured that Israel will be fully ticked. ;)

I think we have quite a similar starting approach! Though if probably I tend more to adapt to the WHSs that I find on the destination rather than the other way round, even if WHSs surely are catalysts of an Inspiration. I also know I am a slow visitor, so I plan accordingly to not get too much stress!

carmendavid:
After several years of picking places here and there, in 2019 I made my 'essential list within budget'. The plan was to travel intensively outside of Europe for a few years and 2020 saw a lot of tickets booked in January and then cancelled one after the other.

I also started 2020 boldly planning lots of smaller and greater destinations as never before, and then boom :-|

* * *

Anyway, as I stated I tried out this random country generator (hey, with handy country's continent displayed "due to a common lack of geographical knowledge"!) to see where I am headed in... some future, and here are the results (I didn't consider WHSless or already visited places):

* Dominican Republic - hm, definitely not on my list, so all the better. Just one WHS and a handful of apparently doubtful (at least according to Zoe, who reviewed lots of them) TWHSs
* Thailand - definitely a classic, I am curious to return in the area after having met so many travellers in Myanmar praising Thailand
* Nigeria - I have sometimes wondered what Nigeria has to offer and am particularly attracted by the sacred grove of Osun-Osogbo, but as unfortunately it looks like a quite dangerous destination right now, I also drew a bonus country, and it is...
* Colombia! Which seems to be quite appreciated by members of this site!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 21 Jul 2021 22:41 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Currently on a 11,000 mile (apx. 18,000 km) road trip across 37 states in the USA. WHS Sites, National Parks, and visiting family/friends are the primary impetus (not in that order necessarily). Canada's border remained closed to Americans, otherwise my original plan included more WHS up North. Multiple factors inspired this trip, but it never would have happened so soon (or at all) without the influence of the pandemic. Stronger desire to see family and friends (spread across the country) and to complete the Continental US world heritage sites led to a 2 month long road trip.

Picking up the remainder of WHS (that I have not visited) in the Continental US, some revisits/component completion, and numerous TWHS.

WHS
- Yellowstone National Park
- Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
- Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point


Revisits & TWHS
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island TWHS (New Jersey side, both brief revisits)
- The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater (completion of all 8 components)
- Independence Hall (brief revisit)
- Early Chicago Skyscrapers (revisit/additional components)
- Thomas Jefferson Buildings (Poplar Forest only)
- Moravian Church Settlements
- Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks
- Civil Rights Movement Sites

Author mrayers
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 22 Jul 2021 00:14 
winterkjm:
Currently on a 11,000 mile road across about 37 states in the USA. WHS Sites, National Parks, and visiting family/friends are the primary impetus (not in that order necessarily).

That should be a good route, with a nice variety of Sites!

Be sure to block out a lot of time for Yellowstone. Having grown up in Virginia, near D.C., it makes me totally frustrated that I never made it to Great Smokey Mountains NP, and it's unlikely that I ever will. :-(

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 22 Jul 2021 05:30 
Well that sounds like a great trip winterkjm. Have fun.

I'm sure you will anyway, but make sure to tack on Grand Teton to Yellowstone, if only so you can say I've been there when you see Ansel Adams photos.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 22 Jul 2021 06:33 
I noticed you'd just swung through Virginia by recently picking up Monticello and UVA. Hope you're having a great time on your drive cross-country — there is so much to see, both on and off the list! I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on some of the eastern TWHS. Too bad Canada may be reopening its border too late for your trip, but hope you can get back there someday.

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 "I want to go right there!" or: how do you decide to go to which place?

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