Often I hear from people yeah I've been in blah and blah and blah and then I'm like wow so how long have you been there and then they say 4 days here 3 days there 5 days there...
But honestly I don't feel that people like that have really been there, like yeah they have been there and they have seen some stuff but they haven't really gotten to know the place and I really see this as a loss...like if i go somewhere I like to stay for at least 3 to 6 months. This ofcourse can also be the result of how I grew up, 6 years in Surinam, 4 years Aruba, 10 years Holland and my parents have always taken us on long vacations. I know that this forum is full of backpackers (or not haven't been here that long) but don't you sometimes feel that you're missing out?
They're two different experiences I think. Getting to know a place by living there for several months is certainly a much richer one, but at the same time, there's a lot of places to see and it would take a long time to see a lot of them at that rate!
I've been to a lot of places for 3/4 days. Mostly I'm talking about just one city in that case, not a country. As an outsider it's very hard to actually get a good idea of a place anyway and usually a few days covers the main attractions that you have gone out of the way to see. At the same time, I've also experienced countries through longer stays, which lets you pick up more of the language, make friends and then miss them terribly when you leave again.
I like to mix things up a bit; some cities I like to stay a week, some countries a month, then others I just want to see for a few days because I'm in the 'neigbourhood' It all depends on what amount of time is available. And just three days away from home in a strange place is still usually a great break. I'm off to Tasmania for a long weekend with a friend next week and I really don't see any reason to go longer. I mean, we could drive around the island 3 times in that time And if there's something I particularly like, I can always go back.
I agree with Peter on this one. You can really, really get to know a place if you have (or make, I suppose) the time. But sometimes you just have to take advantage of an opportunity to quickly see a place or two.
I went to London for 3 days in June - circumstance and finances only made a short trip possible - which is a city I'd been wanting to see for a very long time. I walked all along the Thames, rode the Underground, saw a cemetery, and - most important to me - walked Abbey Road.
I really didn't get to know the city well, and I know I missed out on a lot. Still, I've been there, and I did some of the things I'd been dreaming about. And, like Peter says, I now know it's a place I'd want to go back to see more of (if only my money went further!!)
I gotta ditto the responses. I would definitely agree with you that you can't say you know a place like a local knows a place but sometimes, a few days are all you need to get a feel for a place. Some places you go to see the main attractions, and that does for sure mean you have been to the city. You just can't lay claim on it as a connaisseur or anything. I visited Las Vegas for 3 days and I definitely consider it a place I've been to, because, most people will tell you, that's a good enough time to get your fill of the city. I also went to New Orleans for 5 days, and altough I got a feel for the city, I now know what I'd like to do when I go back.
There are some things that you find out you want to see once you get there, either by randomly falling upon it or through suggestions made by locals you meet. So sometimes it's a good thing to go and see a city for a few days. You go do the main "touristy" things, and it will either whet your appetite or you will put it in your memories and that's that.
I know what you mean Girlaway.Sure,you have to a few 3/4 day missions once in a while,but ive met a hell a lot of whistle-stop list merchants:into the city,tick of the guide-book tourist attractions,take the postcard photo,have some beers with some aussies and off to the next "lets-go" locale.
Each to their own i spose,but you need at least a few weeks or a month in most places to even scratch the surface,especially big cities.
maybe im being a bit precious...
You say " if i go somewhere I like to stay for at least 3 to 6 months."
Well, I'm sure most of us would like to be able to do the same thing, but circumstances (time and money) are not always the way we'd like them to be.
There is so much snobbery when it comes to travel, and to suggest that someone is "missing out" if they don't stay for months in one place is just one example of it.
I didn't mean to sound snobby or offend you James
I was just wanted to hear some different views about it because I've never just been to a country for a couple of days and after reading the replies I definetly see that it CAN be worthed to just go for a few days...and I'll even might start trying it