Seeing what you know is beautiful or a whole new experience

This actually is not as cut and dry as the title might make it seem.

I studied in Leipzig for a time and as such I've done a bit of traveling around Europe. So I'm long term theoretical planning a trip to Europe with my fiancee and I'm torn whether to take her to places I know to be my favorite beautiful places or whether we should explore places that are brand new for both of us. It's a hard choice really, I have a very strong desire to take her off to Muenchen and a favorite spot of mine, Schloss Linderhof. It's also a nice starting point for checking out some places in Austria I'd like to see. On the other hand I'd also like to check out Switzerland (closest I've been is Konstanz). I've thought maybe a Scandinavian tour would be nice. Though I feel like she should really get the continental European experience first. I don't know what do you folks think?

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7779 posts

Nothing beats seeing something for the first time. I'd opt for experiencing something new with your fiance - hopefully the shared experience will be a treasured memory for both of you.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5585 posts

I agree with Brad. New places you can share together. Alternately you could combine old and new if it is really important for you to revisit a place. Where you go depends on so many factors - how much time do you have, what time of year will it be, what is your budget? Don't forget that Europe isn't going anywhere and you can take to your old favorite places on another trip.

Posted by Joan
Gettysburg, PA, USA
339 posts

Have you thought of asking her what she would like to see and do?

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

There is no rule that it can't be a little of each either - by seeing some of your old favorites she can now have a mental picture when you speak of them.

Posted by hammerfestus
4 posts

I have asked her what she'd like to see and do and the reply was that she'd like me to figure it out lol. I'm pretty sure Prague is a must since I've talked it up so much (and rightfully so) which may be a bit of a monkey wrench in being able to include Munich in a trip. I was thinking Switzerland, Tyrol and Czech Republic would be a nice mix of old and new. Sigh, I guess Linderhof can await my triumphant return.

Posted by Beatrix
Calgary
2067 posts

Since I grew up in Germany and lived in France for a year all our family trips to Europe ended up combining the familiar with the new. And that's a wonderful experience! Showing my husbands and my kids some of my favourite places is as rewarding as it is to discover new destinations together. In addition, places do change over time. I visited Leipzig very often throughout my childhood. But when I came back 20 years later with my family I hardly recognized the city.

In your case, I'd pick one or two familiar places and spend the rest of the time exploring new areas. How much time do you have?

Posted by stan
Kansas City
639 posts

One of the highlights of my first trip to Europe with my wife was taking her to a place I was familiar with, and knew she would love. Then finding new places with her.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
2404 posts

hammerfestus,

Why do people see everything as black and white?

why not a mix?

Maybe pick a couple places that are near and dear to your heart to SHARE them with your SO and also do some other places where you can discovery them together?

whatever you do, good luck and happy trails.

Posted by Leigh
Missouri
395 posts

This is always a hard decision! Like many have said, I would combine old and new. Share with her something that is your favorite, and experience something new together.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5050 posts

Definitely old and new. She will be able to appreciate your memories and you will make new ones together.

Posted by Ian
Marseille
141 posts

As you have been to Europe before (and actually stayed there) you no doubt already have certain travel skills and knowledge from the places that you have visited that can be applied to those that you haven't yet.

In any case I think that either way you can't go wrong and will have a very enjoyable holiday with you fiancee whatever you decide to do.

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
729 posts

I like the idea of combining the new and the old with 75% of the trip being new. How long do you have?

Based on what you noted, your fiancee does not seem to have a very strong preference (no strong desire to see Paris?!). You mentioned three options, and I think I would go with starting in Germany with some familiar and some new, and then heading over to Austria (keep in mind that I don't know when you are planning to travel so this may not be the best option in all seasons).

The benefit of doing some things that are familiar is that the stress of travel and planning is reduced a bit, so you aren't dealing with logistics and bearings as much. The downside of taking someone to a cherished spot of yours is that they do not have the emotional connection that you do, so may be anticlimactic and forced for both of you, whereas with new travel you can create the emotional connection together.

Posted by Ginger
TX
210 posts

I have mixed my travels when going with someone who has not been where I had traveled to. Interestingly enough, there is smash something new to see. Plus I also go somewhere new as well. You got similar thoughts on the matter, so I'm betting you're doing to do both :)