Being that I spend a lot of free time scourging travel blogs on the Internet, there is one phrase that I often come across that really gets under my skin…
It was the best place I’ve ever been.
Oh yeah, really? The best place you’ve ever been, huh? The most beautiful, fraught with culture and life, brimming with excitement hiding underneath the budding underbelly? Somehow, I doubt that.
Not that I don’t believe a place can be like that, because they are. And that may be the exact issue… that there are many places like this. There cannot be one best place you’ve ever been, because that’s like throwing every destination into prepackaged, nicely organized ribboned boxes, when let’s get real here, Seattle doesn’t have a whole lot in common with Sydney. More accurate phrases would be New Orleans is the craziest city I’ve ever been to. Paris is the most lovely and lacy city I can imagine. I’ve never had so much barbecue as I did in Kansas City.
I can’t really blame people though when they ask me what’s the best place you’ve ever been? because as a journalist, it is exactly these questions that must be asked, this searching for extremes, simply because we want to hear what the hell you can possibly say. On the contrary, being trained as a journalist, you learn to never yourself state these extremes, because you lose your credibility with these dramatic and overused phrases when you’re supposed to stay without a side at all times possible.
However, the way a person responds to these questions says a lot. But a quiet wonder, a shrug of the shoulders, a damnnn I really have no idea… Now it’s those responses I listen awfully closely too. Because those are the ones who have seen the world and live to tell it enough that you have to ask first.