Should We Have Travel Regrets?


I was sitting on a train the other day and thoughts drifted (as they often do ) to places around the world. Not so much ones that I wanted to visit but I for some reason, I was thinking about the places I didn’t visit when I had the opportunity.

Last year, Jordan seemed to be the destination of choice for the discerning travel blogger and I took a 10 day break there with my family during the summer. I tried to plan an itinerary that suited us all. My aim was to see new places but also leave enough time to visit other spots on the spur of the moment. Jordan has many wonderful places but one place we didn’t go to was Wadi Rum. As we left Jordan, I kept thinking that I’d go there next time but as the months have passed, I’m wondering if I will go back to Jordan. I’ve seen a lot of it including Petra, Madaba, Aqaba and the Dead Sea but I’m not sure I’ll go back any time soon. If I don’t, it does seem such a shame that I didn’t get to Wadi Rum, a place I first heard of in the film “Lawrence of Arabia”.

Seven Pillars of Wisdon, Wadi Rum (Photo: Dale Gillard on Flickr)

As ever, when you have plenty of spare time on your hands, one thought leads to another and I started to think of other travel experiences I missed. Ironically, many of the missed experiences are close to home. This was a subject I wrote about back in February – Travel Adventures On Your Doorstep. The local places are easy enough to visit but its the further afield destinations that I may never get to see again. Five years ago, I spent nearly 3 weeks in Cuba but apart from a couple of days in Havana, I spent the rest of the time in Varadero at a beach resort. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but on the flight home, I felt I should have tried to see other parts of the country too. I think of trips to Australia, South Africa, the United States and a number of cities in Europe where I had the opportunity to see and do more but didn’t.

Why Have I Never Been to Vegas? (Photo: GlacierTim on Flickr)

On reflection, I don’t think you should have any regrets about travelling. There is always something else to see and none of use are going to get to see everything we want to while we are on this earth. For the first time ever, I’ve started compiling  bucket list of places I want to visit. I’m sure I’ll never get to some of them but its always good to aim high. I think we should all be grateful for the numerous travel experiences we’ve have and try to get the most out of all future trips. Top of the list for me at present is to travel Route 66 from Chicago to the Pacific. Its something I’ll only ever do once and when I do, I’ll see and do as much as possible. It won’t be easy as there are endless things to discover as you head West across the USA.
Share your thoughts?  Do you have any regrets about places you didn’t see when travelling?


  1. Rob, The world is very big and even if you visit a place, you cant guarantee that you will be able to see all the place out there and this is why we travel there again i.e. to explore more.
    There are place where have traveled multiple times just to explore something more. so why regret!


    • Rob says:

      Hi Mark
      I started writing that post when I was thinking about somewhere I could have gone to but didn’t. However, as you say, I came to the conclusion there are plenty of wonderful places out there to discover so move on to the next place. We’ll never see them all anyway.

  2. John Gledson says:

    Great post, made me remember many times in the past that I failed to grasp the opportunity to take full advantage of my situation. During my time in the Royal Navy I visited some excellent locations and on the whole did manage to explore as many as possible but there are regrets:
    Missed a visit to Angel Falls whilst in Venezuela
    Didn’t explore the many caves and grottos whilst living on Gibraltar
    Failed to take full advantage of my time in Kuwait and a number of other destinations in the Gulf

    I have since taken as many opportunities as I can but I do like the bucket list approach of destinations and have a couple to aim for in the next couple of years.
    Everest base camp, gives me a target to improve my sedentary life style. Mongolia by Cub C90. Interspersed with other shorter trips, that\\\\\\\’ll do for now.

    • Rob says:

      Hi John
      A friend of mine was in the Royal Navy and he always used to say he enjoyed visiting the Falklands. I guess in a job like that you get to some more unusual places as well as more well known destinations like Gibraltar.

      Good luck with Everest base camp and even going to Mongolia by Cub C90 !!!

  3. There’s never enough time to see anything and usually too many tempting new destinations to make a return trip. I just try to enjoy my travel memories and leave the regrets where they lie.

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