Within the last 18 months I have been blessed to visit 16 (17 on deck) countries on our fabulous planner. On a mission that I thought would take 4 years to complete, I can say with confidence, at this aggressive rate, I might hit 30 countries before I even turn 29. Dare I say, I'm a little saddened by that? I'm not sure why, but probably because the fun for me is in the challenge and the journeys I have taken. Then, the more I thought about it, I realized there are some places that I have a strong desire to revisit even if I haven't been gone that long *cough* Paris & Portugal *cough*.
Back around my birthday this year, I made a statement saying "I would rather repeat clothes than repeat countries", and I am pretty certain that now that statement is no longer valid (and my half birthday just passed). I was very certain that I did not want to repeat any places until I had visited all 30 on the list, but now I want to slow down and give some places more time and love than I did on my original visits. Let's talk about why I've changed my mind.
There are certain places that steal your heart.
I didn't expect for me to miss some places so much. There is a desire to revisit some places, but sometimes you are longing to return to that place. That is where I am at with quite a few places, to the point that I've been dreaming about them. I am extremely appreciative of my 40 days in Europe, but even a week in some places was just not enough.
If you absolutely are in love with something, you should be able to experience that love 100 times over! Forget what folks say about it. Belize was a place of pure peace for me and prayerfully, I will be able to go at least one time a year simply to get my zen back. So, if someone ever asks me, "You're going to Belize again?!" my answer will be HELL YES I am *insert hair flip here*. You do not owe anyone anything when it comes to your coins and your travel choices.
Unless you've lived in a city for an extended time, you are not an expert.
Cities and countries are always evolving. It blows my mind how much Houston has changed since I left 15 months ago. So, as much as I would like for things to remain the same, they don't, and they won't. However, you can turn that around to be positive and use it as another reason to go back to that repeat destination. As much research as you have done, locals you have talked to, at the end of the day, you are not an expert. Of course, you can give recommendations (which I do as well).
If you've only been somewhere for a few hours, but because you set your foot there, you won't go back because you want to get in another stamp first, I find that interesting, but hey, #DoYou. I know in my heart that I didn't do enough places justice, even if I had been there for a week. I wanted to see more countryside vineyards and beaches that were less populated, but there just wasn't enough time. While I certainly know that tomorrow isn't promised, it gives me a bit of optimism to know that I can come back when the time is right for me.
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I may repeat the destination, but I won't repeat the experience.
At first when I read this quote I initially said "eww, really?", but then I had to check myself. I moved away from Houston last year and I only get to go home to New Jersey 1-3 times a year. Guess what's usually the first thing I do? Eat at my rotation of restaurants! And if you even dare suggest another restaurant during my weekend back home, it better be bomb or I'm going to be highly upset that I wasted a perfect cheesesteak opportunity. I'm not sure I would go to the same extreme of getting the same hotel room, but I can understand why people return to what they know and love.
More likely than not, you don't get to complete whatever itinerary you set for yourself while you are on a trip. That's the joy of knowing you can return. I spent so much time away but I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed myself at a moderate pace and wasn't chasing after all of the "must do" items. I did what resonated with me and my spirit and set forth from there, knowing that it was just another flight deal away. I'm also looking forward to returning back to certain places with future husband (claiming it) and that will definitely be a completely different experience than the first time I did it, probably so much so that it won't feel like a repeat destination.
So, what do you all think? Do you have a repeat destination that you visit often (domestically / internationally)? Are you disgusted at the thought? Sound off in the comments and let's chat!