On the subject of travel, my father used to say: “You can’t go back. Avoid the places you loved when you were young, because they’ll have changed, and you’ll be disappointed.”
Occasionally my husband agrees, “That’s right, you can’t go back.”
But does that mean that the cities and countries where we were happiest and most enchanted must forever be crossed off the list of dreamed-of destinations? Can’t some places remain unspoiled (or possibly even improve)? And, at the very least, isn’t it interesting to see how different a place looks to us at various points in our lives?
This spring, I decided to find the answer to some of these questions by revisiting Sicily, one of my favorite places on earth. I’d first been there in 1992, with my mother, my husband and our two sons (then aged 10 and 14), and written — for this newspaper — about watching Mount Etna erupt. I’d returned for six weeks in early 2002 to write a brief book that was partly about how an immersion in Sicilian history, with its appalling violence and inspiriting record of recovery and resilience, had provided some comfort in the recent aftermath of Sept. 11. Read more at NY Times