As a traveler, we are often left reflecting on the memories of the many places that we have been or the variety of people that we have met. The good times, the tired times, the incredible even, but one never knows what it will be like to return to a city especially after leaving it with a wonderful experience. This has been my experience with Valencia.
I first came to Valencia in 2011 when I was traveling for my first long-term trip from Iceland to Turkey. I only spent time in a few Spanish cities then, but I had a blast. I met wonderful people, learned some new things about Spain, and had some unforgettable experiences. So, to return to a city you are always hesitant and wondering if it will be possible to leave with the same good memories. Will you forever be seeking the first experience? Will you try to recall the same places that you ate or visited and attempt to recreate the same experiences? All are thoughts that pass throw your mind as a traveler.
In my experience, thinking like this is not conducive to having a good time because it limits your openness to new experiences. Therefore, it is a challenge for me, or anyone for that matter, to have a new good time when revisiting a place. However, Valencia proved to be just that.
It is amazing what memories you can have of a city. It has been over 2 years since I was in Valencia, but I wanted to see what had changed, what had stayed the same, and revisit where I stayed the first time that I visited the city. Strangely, as I walked the streets, my memory came back like a flood. I remembered small details, stores, restaurants, and parks. I could almost close my eyes and remember an experience exactly as I walked past things.
I was lucky in Valencia this time. For one, I had some friends in town that were able to meet for a dinner and catch up which was great. Second, I was able to meet some wonderful and interesting people who became more than just the fellow passerby. From my local tour guide to the staff at Juventud de la Comunidad Valenciana to the others that I met at the hostel. They won’t soon be forgotten. That is one of the wonderful things about traveling. You get to meet so many interesting people that leave a lasting impression on you. Whether you meet again or not depends on many factors, but you carry the people with you in memory. Lastly, I was staying at a fun place with a great environment and atmosphere. I stayed at the Red Nest Hostel on La Pau just a few minutes from Plaza de la Reina. Red Nest, is an affiliate hostel with REAJ. I had a blast there and I thank them for hosting me.
In order for someone to have a good repeat experience, I think that it is crucial for them to not expect the same one. You can visit a city a hundred times and have a completely different experience each time you visit because of the people, weather, or what you do.
The opportunity to travel through Valencia has been a great experience, and it was really amazing to visit Valencia again. Now, I am on to Barcelona…