The pointlessness of city breaks

Recently, I went to Amsterdam for 2 nights. The colder and wet weather certainly don’t make any trip as enjoyable as they could be, but regardless , I have determined that city breaks are mostly lost on me.

Let’s look at a typical city, and what value it holds. There’s old stuff, unique stuff, museum stuff, shopping stuff, tourist stuff.

Looking at these points, I have an issue with my potential enjoyment of each.

  • Old stuff – this generally refers to buildings or areas of a city. It holds very little appeal to me as a specific trip. I don’t mind seeing old stuff as part of my travels, but the 2 minutes it holds my interest doesn’t warrant a trip to its location.
  • Unique stuff – some places have unique things. Amsterdam, for my example, has canals and narrow houses. I don’t mind that, but again, it’s not hours worth of interest. Show me a couple of narrow houses, and the box is ticked. I don’t need to see all of them.
  • Museum/Gallery stuff – technically, overlapping with old stuff, I have been to enough museums and galleries over my time to feel like I have seen enough. Much of the content is the same. Any painting worth seeing probably has a decent image online. There’s just nothing I haven’t seen before that might hold an appeal.
  • Shopping stuff – prices can be appealing, depending on where you go. Otherwise, most places are much the same as at home.
  • Tourist stuff – this is what a city is famous for. Dublin has the Guinness brewery. Amsterdam has the Ann Frank house. Most of these things hold little appeal, or are worth maybe 5 minutes of my time, but in passing, rather than joining a queue.

So, here’s my issue. Outside of a city tour, which ideally wouldn’t be on the bus, I don’t actually enjoy any of the things other cities have to offer. I end up going to an H&M store somewhere other than home. It’s a waste of the money and planning involved.

I am learning that maybe city breaks aren’t for me. Unless it’s somewhere warm and there’s other stuff to do, like a beach.

Matt Written by:

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