Don’t recreate memories…make new ones

2nd July 2015

Ajaccio, Corsica

During my Mediterranean cruise, the ship called at a lot of ports that I had already visited with my parents three years ago when we went on a cruise together.

I will never forget calling in Ajaccio in Corsica, walking around the beautiful town and calling at a restaurant by the harbour for a giant bowl of mussels. Sharing those mussels with my parents is such a significant memory for me. It was a perfect day, making new and great memories.

So, before I returned to Corsica last month, my parents asked if I was going to recreate the memory by returning to that very restaurant and eating mussels again.

I genuinely thought I would recreate this memory, but when we arrived in Corsica I had no desire to do so.

I realised that I didn’t want to recreate the memory, because it was that initial memory that was so special to me. It wouldn’t have been special the second time around.

Things change. People change. Life never stays still.

Take the pictures above. The one on the left was taken when I visited Corsica in 2012 with my parents, and the one of the right was taken almost in the same spot when I visited last month with Tyrone. Clearly the boat has disappeared, and this kind of made me sad.

Three years before I stood their with my parents and we had our photo taken (which you can see in this post). Three years on I managed to find my way, without getting lost, to this exact spot with Tyrone to show him, but it just wasn’t the same.

It was a similar situation in Rome and Florence. When I had visited both cities with my parents we ate at certain restaurants and visited certain shops. It would have been easy to do exactly the same this time around, but we didn’t.

Instead of recreating old memories, we made new ones.

I learnt a life lesson from this holiday. I learnt that memories are special for a reason, and attempting to recreate them won’t be the same. It won’t be as special.

The world is a big place with lots for you to do and to see. Why waste time on old memories while you can make new ones to add to the collection?

Have you ever tried to recreate a memory? If you have, how did it feel?

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  1. A long time ago I had a conversation with a friend about break-ups and how sometimes you needed to go to places you went with your partner without them, with others and make new memories so that when you thought of that place you didn’t immediately associate it with an ex-lover. When my Grandmother died I took my Granddad places he hadn’t been with her, because the memories were painful.
    I think, it all comes down to what the memory if the place/experience is, and if the experience was special the first time round, maybe you can’t recreate because you already have an idea of how it should be.

    • Holly

      I suppose that is a pretty good reason for returning to a place. I tend to avoid places with bad memories associated with them, but I think if you can return and make better, happier memories then that has got to be good.

  2. I was in Italy in 2010 and in 2014 I went with my family. My best friend asked me if I would go back the restaurant we went to and to another location and take pictures there to recreate the memory/picture we previously took,however like you I just took a photo of the area instead to show her how things have transformed. If the memory was a bad one, I think I would create a new memory in that place to remove the bad one, but if the memory is good, why redo it. No too memories will be the same. Oh that is the beauty of travel though!

    • Holly

      I’m starting to really like this idea of going back to a place with bad memories to make better one. I need to stop avoiding them.

  3. This is an interesting subject. I want new memories, but I usually want to visit new places :)

    • Holly

      I love visiting new places, and my latest holiday haas definitely made me want to travel to really different places in the world.

  4. Elena

    I am creature of habit so I often go back to old places mostly because they feel safe, and I know what to expect. When I go on Holliday I love to explore new places as well. I have never really thought about it as recreating a memory however, but when I think back I know it is something that I have done.
    However as you said people change, things change and we should also try to create new experiences for ourselves. So I feel like it is okay to go back to the same places sometimes, but you should not do it stressing over the fact that you want it to be like the last time you were there. Because it will never be like the last time.

    • Holly

      I definitely feel more relaxed when I go back to somewhere I know, but I guess being nervous about somewhere new is one of the great things about travel.

  5. Amy

    Wow, those photos are so different. I wonder why they changed the flagstones – the other ones are much more interesting.

    I love going back to places I visited with my family when I was younger, but a lot of the time I find that the places aren’t as impressive as they were when I was a child, then I’m a little bit disappointed. In terms of recreating a memory though, the closest I’ve come is visiting the same restaurant me and my boyfriend had our first date on, but it was so different the second time. For a start, I wasn’t nearly as awkward and nervous! It’s great to re-visit places like that, memories are great.

    xxx

    • Holly

      Some places look great as a child, but when you see it through adult eyes it just isn’t the same.

  6. Having a giant bowl of mussels sounds really delicious! I agree with you, creating new memories is a better option because you can explore more to other options and you don’t have the same experience twice (even though it was nice). Also, you can have a unique experience in the events. I tried recreating a memory once, but it wasn’t the same the second time around. I’ll just stick to doing something different the next time around :).

  7. Cat

    For me, it kind of varies depending on the place. If it’s a place I don’t visit often, I’d rather make new memories! I feel like it’s a slight waste to go to the same places again. There’s so many more things to see and many more restaurants to try :)

    Though, I do think it’s fun to revisit places when a long period of time has passed. I definitely view things differently now than when I was younger. It’s also interesting to see how places changed. I love how you have two photos of the same place but from different years!

    • Holly

      I’ve definitely feeling in need of exploring new places at the moment. Maybe that’s just how I’m feeling now, and maybe in the future I will change my mind.

  8. […] visited Ajaccio before (and wrote a little about recreating memories there in this post) but it was Tyrone’s first time, so I happily showed him around. The weather wasn’t […]