WADE'S WORLD: Do you ever go back?

South Wales Argus: MEMORIES: Prague MEMORIES: Prague

THERE are some who holiday in the same place or take the same type of trip every year.

The thought of doing that, I have to admit doesn’t appeal.

Because the experiences you have on holiday are reflections of who you are at that time of life. Let me explain.

My partner and I spent our first holiday together over Christmas and New Year in Prague in 1994. The beautiful Czech capital was emerging from 40 grey years behind the iron curtain and its youthful buzz reflected our mood. Scattered among the jawdroppingly lovely buildings were snug hostleries selling the best beer on the planet for 10p a pint.

We dined on equally cheap and good goulash and dumplings and wandered its snowy streets falling in love with the city and its people.

We drank until the small hours and cheerfully dodged home-made fireworks rocketing round Wenceslas Square on New Year’s Eve. It was an unforgettable experience.

Fast forward 15 years, and my good lady (we're still together) booked a surprise weekend for my 40th birthday to another central European gem, Budapest. We’d since had a little girl, who was then four and the four nights in Hungary would be the longest we had been away from her.

And so, although we had a pleasant enough time, it was dotted with reminders of why you should never go back, or at least never try to re-create a magic holiday.

While in Prague 15 years ago we drank the night away, here we’d had enough by 10.30pm, but seemed to be surrounded by younger folk just getting started. Despite being freed of our parental responsibilities, we pined after her hopelessly. Every park we passed, we’d think ‘Carys would love that’. At every ice cream stall, we’d instinctively brace ourselves for a demand for an ice lolly which never came.

Many times I have left a place, vowing to return as soon as I can.

Aching with the pain of leaving somewhere you’ve fallen in love with, or friends you’ve just made, it’s a promise I often make, but in practice rarely keep.

Because, every time you try to recreate a holiday the latest trip will always come second best.

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