DC wasn't for me. And that's okay.
Not every destination is going to appeal to every traveler, and that need to be normalized. One of my favorite places is Zurich, Switzerland. I don't understand how someone could visit
a place like Zurich and not enjoy themselves. But I know one or two people who think the city is just kind of boring and bland. And that's okay! It's not the end of the world if people
don't agree on destinations. Some people think Tulum is paradise on earth, and some say it's a wasteland of expats trying to party and exploit the locals. I'll be able to decide that if/when I myself for myself. My point is that you should never feel pressured to love or hate a particular place. If you hated London, that's perfectly fine. And if you love a place everyone else doesn't seem to like, it's completely valid as well. It's hard to form an opinion about a place based on the short time you spend a there and viewing the destination through the lens of a tourist. We eat, drink, see the sights, and take picture. But we don't get to know these places well enough to form a true opinion about them. That's why traveling slowly can be great. When you have a week somewhere instead of 2 or 3 days, you get to know it better and have more experiences. It's still impossible to entirely know what a place is like, but spending more time in a place makes getting to know it easier.
With all that said, I have found a place I don't love after all years of travels. After 2 visits to Washington DC, I can confidently say that the city just isn't for me. I didn't plan on going either time I visited; it just happened to be a stop I took on 2 road trips in 2014 and 2016. I had a good time on both trips, don't get me wrong. But I enjoyed myself because I was with friends, got to travel, and enjoy spending time away from school. I had a good time on those trips in spite of the destination, not because of it. Also, let me add that you can have a terrible time in a destination you love. Whether it's the weather, a poor choice of itinerary, picking a bad travel companion, etc. A destination you would otherwise enjoy can be ruined by circumstances out of your control while you're there. However, I don't think that's the case for DC, at least for me.
I wanted to enjoy DC, but unfortunately, I just didn't fall in love with it. Most places in the US that I've traveled to, I have only had the privilege of visiting once. DC, however, got two visits from me, and I still came away from it lukewarm. Keep in mind, I'm not saying I hated the city. I just had underwhelming experiences there multiple times. It really seems like there's just not much to do there besides museums. They're all over the place, and many of them end up becoming repetitive. I don't have a problem with museums, but they're just not my thing. I'll typically do one museum for an hour on a week long trip. So doing 4 or 5 museums in a day in DC is not really an ideal way to spend my time. On top of that, the infrastructure of the city is really weird. It has a big city and small town feel to it, while also trying to be "touristy," but the city doesn't feel like it's built well for tourism at all.
I didn't hate DC. I'm glad I went and saw the sights and gave it a chance. I'm just not the kind of traveler this destination is trying to appeal to. Personally, I prefer Boston or Florida for a visit to the US, and I think that's perfectly healthy. Having the idea that every place you're going to visit is going to wow you and be a new favorite is not necessarily a huge problem; however, I think we all need to set realistic standards for the locations we visit, otherwise we can be disappointed. There needs to be balance. Having super high expectations for a place you're visiting for a short time is not healthy, in my opinion. You have to make your own trip exciting, especially when you're visiting a place that you're not crazy about. I know I managed to do that in DC. Travel is such a privilege, and the experience is something to be grateful for. Making the most out of each visit to a new (or old) destination is a must. So while I won't be rushing back to DC anytime soon, my visits there have been worthwhile regardless.