Frequent and lengthy travelers often get asked the question, “what is your favorite place?” Of course, some have a ready answer thanks to a truly moving experience where one place in particular captured their hearts, souls and/or bodies. But, many like myself have great difficulty answering the question. After thinking about it a bit I realized there are (at least) two main reasons answering this question is so difficult.
First, by a favorite place does one mean a place in which I could imagine living and making a life? Or merely a place I would gladly return to multiple times, notably before returning to another beloved place?
Second, I long ago realized that a place impresses me for better and sometimes for worse, as much from circumstance as its unchanging nature. What mood are you in when you visit? Are you there alone or with others? Who do you meet while there and to what degree are you able to interact and communicate with locals you meet? Are you the victim of a crime or a recipient of acts of uncommon kindness? Do you discover an unknown treasure of a local restaurant or (in my case) street art by chance? How is the weather while you are there? How is your health? How is your accommodation and transportation? How are your finances while there?
Perhaps the above is just my way of justifying why I don’t wish to answer the question. How about you? Do you have an answer? If so, what criteria do you use?