The thing about travelling is that the more you travel, the more you want to travel.
Thanks to Instagram, travel blogs and Skyscanner’s cheap flights search bar, my list of places I want to go is literally growing by the day (I added Aveiro in Portugal this morning!). And I know I’m not the only one.
I’ve seen a huge rise of people online taking part in travel challenges, where they want to tick off 30 new countries before they turn 30, or visit 12 new cities in 12 months. But something my friends and I have been talking about a lot recently is revisiting places that we’ve already been to before.
Sure, it may not scratch anything off your map, but really: does it matter?
I lived in Palma for 18 years, and yet the week I spent revisiting the city with Jet2 in February is firmly up there on the list of best trips I’ve ever done. It gave me a whole new perspective to a city I thought I knew well enough to not bother about, and I loved every minute of it.
I also revisited Rome at the end of last year. We ignored all the popular landmarks and things we’d done on my first time round, and instead I got to see a more relaxed and local side to it. We “just” ate great food and wandered down pretty streets and drank strong coffee… and that was amazing in a whole different way.
It’s something I’m determined to do a lot more of, so here are five more cities I would love to revisit:
Kyoto was an odd experience for me. I went in expecting it to be the most tranquil and authentic city on our trip across Japan, but actually it turned out to be the busiest and most touristy.
Granted, it didn’t help that we visited on a weekend, but I think the main issue is that we just didn’t have enough time there. It’s the kind of place where you really have to take it slow, soak up the atmosphere, and give yourself time to just wander.
We were rushing so hard to fit in all the main tourist attractions, that I think we kind of lost sight of the city’s serene spirit, which is why I’m determined to go back again one day!
I’d like to spend more time in a ryokan, as we didn’t really get a chance to enjoy our beautiful room or the impeccable service. And I’d also really like to seek out the smaller shrines, the ones that most people ignore in favour of the big and bold temples.
More things I want to do in Kyoto: watch a Kabuki show, try an onsen, explore Pantocho, and experience a kaiseki dinner.
The one and only time I travelled to Paris, I was 16 and on a school trip. We did most of the major tourist attractions on a super speedy three-day tour, but we didn’t have any time to just sit back and soak up the city – which I think is a real shame.
It’s been a long 10 years since that school trip, and I think it’s definitely time I got my dérriere back to the City of Love!
The company I did my Trastevere food tour with last year (The Roman Guy), have just launched three new tours in Paris and I’ve already bookmarked their Skip the Line Paris Catacombs tour for my inevitable return. I had SO much fun with them in Italy, and I love that they do VIP passes, because who ever wants to spend their precious holiday time standing in a queue?
The Paris Guy are currently offering three fab tours of the most popular Paris landmarks, but they’re planning to expand and introduce less well-known locations soon, so I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that. (Their Instagram account is also a fabbb resource if you’re planning a trip and looking for insider city tips!)
More things I want to do in Paris: wander through Montmartre, see the Sacre Coeur, visit the Musee d’Orsay, explore the gardens at Versailles, and eat my body weight in French wine, cheese, chocolate and croissants…
I only got back from my first trip to Berlin last week, but I’m already desperate to go back again!
I’m not even entirely sure what it is I found so fascinating about it to be honest. I think it has something to do with how they don’t shy away from their history. They don’t pretend it didn’t happen, instead they’re open about the past, as well as looking towards the future. (Charlie’s written a BRILLIANT post about visiting places of political-historical importance abroad, if you’re interested).
We were only in Berlin for two and a half days, and there’s so many things I ran out of time for: the East Side Gallery, the Holocaust museum, Museum Island, the TV Tower… I’m hoping I can convince my sister to come out there with me for a weekend later in the year.
More things I want to do in Berlin: visit some sort of (non-sexual!) cabaret, snap all the street art, see Checkpoint Charlie, and eat more local foods.
Erica and I stayed in Tokyo for a full five days last year, and it was still nowhere near enough time to explore this mad city.
We researched and planned before we arrived, but nothing could have quite prepared us for how huge and sprawling it is.
It didn’t help that our hotel was in Ginza, which I think is probably one of the least interesting neighbourhoods to be in. We’d arrived expecting neon lights and Pokemon on every corner, but to start with it just felt like every other metropolitan city we’d been to. It wasn’t until we set off to explore Yanaka-ginza and Akihabara, on our third day, that we felt like we’d finally dipped into proper Tokyo.
And, of course, there are SO many things we missed anyway. Honestly, you could spend a lifetime exploring this city and I still don’t think you’d hit the depths of it!
More things I want to do in Tokyo: visit the Robot restaurant, see the temples in Asakusa, go to an izakaya (pub) in Yurakucho, watch a sumo match…
However. That trip is the one and only time I have ever done zero research before going away, and I do kind of regret that. We had a lovely relaxing trip, where we just wandered around and dipped into whatever we found along the way. But we missed out on SO MANY THINGS!
We didn’t visit a thermal bath, or see Heroes’ Square, or go inside Parliament. We did somehow manage to stumble across a Ruin Bar, but it was lunchtime and therefore I’m not sure it even counts…
So the lesson to be learned here is: DO YOUR TRAVEL RESEARCH. (And if all else fails: go back again!)
More things I want to do in Budapest: visit Fisherman’s Bastion, take a dip in either Széchenyi or Gellert thermal baths, see the Roman ruin garden, and eat my body weight in lángos.
*This post is sponsored by The Paris Guy.