A few months ago, I was travelling by plane and the company showcased an advertisement, using the animation screen, in which several customers answered the following question: « what is your perfect destinations for holidays? » Cities such as Barcelona and London were chosen by some of the customers. In the middle of my 11-hours flight, I asked myself the same question. I have been lucky to visit amazing landscapes and inspiring cities, so my mind firstly visited Trinidad in Cuba, Tulum in Mexico, Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania and Istanbul. But, my final answer was Spain.
I chose this answer for one very simple reason: Don Benito is my home town and the place where my family and most of my friends live. Don Benito is a small city of around 35000 inhabitants, next to the river Guadiana in the southwest of Spain. It is typically very quiet, so I typically refer to it as “el pueblo” (the village).
For many people this choice and my interest in visiting Don Benito can be surprising. Living abroad, I have met many travellers for whom the next trip only makes sense when they can get rid of a new country in the scratch map located on the wall of the living room. No doubt about it, I also get very excited when, across other countries, I explore the old town of a city; I design a road trip crossing valleys and mountains; and I swim in a warm blue sea. And I will definitely continue visiting new places, many good friends worldwide and my “México lindo y querido” with my family and friends over there. In fact, I feel even happier when I meet those who I care about more.
A trip to Don Benito sometimes starts with a visit to another place in Spain, so my wife and I can learning something new from the Spanish culture. Some examples are concerts, tasty cuisine, a new beach and/or history. Otherwise, we typically spend a night in Madrid meeting good friends after landing. What makes any trip to Don Benito so special for me is its social dimension. Some examples are: having long discussion with my parents, sisters and brother with a coffee after breakfast or lunch; eating tapas with friends; going to the cinema with my nephews; or just walking around “el pueblo” and catching up with neighbours and friends. By the way, I just could see that the social component reached another level, since Linda and I travel together with our daughter Isabel (see some photos below).