I used to have a list, as a kid (and a young adult), of all the great cities I wished to visit. It was a pretty long list. I'm pretty sure I always had a desire to see as much of the world as possible. I never really thought I'd get a chance to fulfil the list...any of it. So I am eternally grateful that my career has allowed me to hop on many a plane and see a nice size chunk of the world and visit many of those cities. I know I am blessed so I remain thankful and humbled that a goof like me has these opportunities. Many, for a multitude of reasons never get the chance. Others have no desire. All I respect for their journey and wish them many wonders on their personal wanders.
When I began to travel, the list took on a different form; a few additional forms actually. There is still the "places I wish to visit but still haven't" list I began to formulate as a kid. May that list never be completed. The "places I visited and want to go back to" list. This list is long and had a sudden increase in length when I discovered a love of photography. There's the very short "I wish I never went there" list. This one only has a few a few entrants and all have the added caveat that maybe it was me and I should have given the place more of a chance. Finally there is "the favourites list". These are the places that made me go wow and I miss on a daily basis. My spiritual home city of Sydney isn't on this list as it's home and although I currently run around the globe and may never move back there, my heart will always belong to Sydney. It's also one of the few cities I haven't properly photographed yet. One day I'll get around to it.
The problem with the favourites list is I struggle to keep it consistent. It's constantly changing according to how recent the visit. Take Amsterdam as a case in point. It's unique in a way where I can't imagine anywhere else ever being even remotely similar. The series of canals and waterways, lined with four and five story town houses is hard to forget. Every building, buttressed up against its neighbour is slightly different to others. The width, the colour, the large windows facing the tree lined streets on either sides of the canal, the earth reds and deep brown colours that seemed to dominate, the white around the windows, the windows themselves, the slight forward slope of many of the buildings, the not too perfect at all alignment of the facades...I could go on and on describing the buildings that make Amsterdam such a feast for the eyeballs. Unfortunately that wouldn't leave enough room for the streets, the bridges, the street lights, the bicycles, the fences, the cafes, the pubs, the boats, the language, the trams, the plazas, the neon, the palace, the Van Gough references, the water, Amstel Hotel, Centraal Station, Dam Square, Rembrandt Square and a million other places, sounds, images and memories.
So right now as I fly home, Amsterdam may have taken Number One spot on my personal Favourite Visited City hit parade. It won't hold the title long, but at some point I will go back and I'm pretty sure everything I loved will come back and it will regain its title.
Which it will lose
Which it will then regain