Let’s face it, as travellers, we are almost always obsessed with the idea of ‘new’. We visit certain places, have an amazing time in them and pointedly refused to return because there’s so much else to see and do out there.

This need to find somewhere new is not a bad thing though… far from in fact! It’s (in part) the reason why we decided to travel in the first place – the opportunity to see somewhere new that we hadn’t before so it makes sense that we’re always in the search of fresh exciting travel plans but there’s so much to be said for returning to the familiar.

Arrival At The Dusit Thani In The Maldives! (22)

Recently, I’ve been revisiting some places I’d really enjoyed in the past and every time, it kept re-enforcing the fact that there’s so much merit to going back to the same old place. I still very much believe that travel is all about experiences rather than some check-list of places one has to visit and its safe to say that so many places offer so much more than one can experience over the space of a short holiday!

Reef Explorers In The Maldives (2)

Rather than rant on and on, let’s me get straight to these 7 reasons why you need to places you’ve travelled to and enjoyed in the past.

Swimming With Sharks, Turtles, Clownfish And Stingrays In The Maldives (4)

1.) It takes so much pressure off you! The first time you visit a place, we all have this idea of what we want to do, see, eat…etc. There’s usually a reason why you wanted to visit in the first places and so we all set out to ‘conquer’ these reasons as soon as we can when we arrived at the destination.

By the 2nd, 3rd, 4th… or umpteenth time you visit a place, chances are that you’ve covered most of the reasons you originally wanted to visit (*how many times one visit Big Ben, after all 😉 ) and can now focus on properly experiencing that place at hand, at a much slower and much deeper pace. You can experience the destination more like a local and with less pressure/guilt for not rushing around to ‘see the sights’.

Island Hopping In Dalaman, Turkey (37)

2.) You have more time to get to meet the locals. This is kinda tied in to the first point but having more time to do other things than seeing the sights means having more time to interact with the people who live in the destination and this can be one of the most fun ways to properly experience a city/town/village.

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3.) Your expectations are so much more realistic. The first time we all visit a place, we create these expectations that are quite frankly, not based in reality. How could it be? We’re trying to build a picture of a place we’ve never visited and as much as you can get a sense of what it could look like (and perhaps even sound like), there’s so much else about the place that you’ll never truly know until you visit it for the first time.

Having expectations are fine but they can fundamentally change how you experience a place as it can leave you overly impressed or disappointed, depending on how high or low said expectations were to begin with.

Throwing all of this out of the window means the place you visit doesn’t have to live up to this idea you’ve created in your head and it can just be exactly what it is and there’s no better way to experience a place than to just take it for what it is.

The Most impromptu Weekend In New York! (13)

4.) You can have a much more relaxed time. We’ve throw the expectations out of the window. We’ve throw the obvious sightseeing out. We’ve given ourselves more free time and there’s nothing for it but to relax and actually have fun. Half the stress we face on holidays is stress we place on ourselves so revisiting a place can sometimes be the best way to avoid one of those ‘holidays you need a holiday to recover from’.

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5.) You start to uncover some of the destinations top secret spots. For instance, if you were visiting London for the first time, who would have time to visit all these secret spots when there’re so many other obvious spots to visit. Visit a couple more times and you start to uncover some of the city’s finest and most exciting spots.

Hong Kong In Pictures: A Photo Diary! (9)

6.) There’s so much more time to enjoy your time with friends. It’s happened even to be best of us, you visit a place your friend lives in and you’re so busy with the sights you have to see that you somehow end up never getting to see your friends in the city. Or perhaps you even arrived with friends in the city and some friends aren’t as into soaking up the sights as you are, if everyone has their way, you’ll no doubt end up not spending as much time together as you’d like. Revisiting a place means you can just chill and have more fun with your friends on your travels.

Exploring Amsterdam's Canal (By Driving A Boat For The First Time!) (7)

7.) You start to notice little details you’d missed before. Brilliant cafes, vintage record shops or even little houses in the walls. You know, the kind of detail that despite their relatively ‘little size’ somehow manages to take over and positively shape your memories of the places you’ve visited.

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  • Rebecca Fletcher

    As much as I love visiting new places its really fun to go back to somewhere you’ve already been because you know what you’re getting and its great if you missed out on doing things the first time around.


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, we’ve had that experience on our last visit to Amsterdam and it was bliss! It was so nice to enjoy the city and spot all the extra places we’d missed on our other visits.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I agree, some places are worth revisiting:) especially London:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh London! Yes! Gotta love our city (though, we know we’re incredibly biased) haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Taste of France

    It’s also great to see how places change and evolve. One thing that struck me when I went back to Kenya 10 years after my previous visit was how many people were wearing shoes and how many people were lined up at the phone booth. They were signs of economic progress. Some years later, back again, and the phone booth was gone, but many people had cell phones. Had I not gone back again and again, I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the progress.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That’s so true! You really do notice a massive difference, it’s crazy to think how quickly places can change, I had the same in the UAE when I visited the Eastern Emirates, there was almost nothing on the shoreline, nowadays it’s changed so much!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I 100% agree with everything you said in this post Yaya! It’s always good to come back to a place you’ve visited, because you actually get to know it better and have a sense of what it’s like living there. You definitely feel more relaxed and take more time to just enjoy the moment! This year I went to Palermo in Sicily twice with my friends, and I could definitely tell that the second time was more chilled out, we took our time and swapped all the touristic stuff we’d done during the first trip to spend more time walking around, feeling the atmosphere – and taking our time to have awesome yummy food every day 😛

    Julia x
    Last post: In the Gardens of Versailles… | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/wander-through-gardens-of-versailles.html

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Julia – So glad you think so too! We need to go back to Palermo too… we were only there for a few days and it rained 24/7 whilst we were there – we can’t wait for our next visit.

      We ha the same experience in Amsterdam last week, totally had the opportunity to chill out, relax and soak up the atmosphere – it gives a whole new perspective on a place.

      Yaya & Lloyd xx

  • This is a great post and I completely agree. I’ve visited a couple of locations several times, and even when they’re familiar there is still so much new stuff to discover! I just got back from Iceland a couple weeks ago, and I am really hoping I can visit again sometime soon.

    Kaili | weirdwonderfulwanderlust.blogspot.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Kaili 🙂

      You’re so right about Iceland. We went back for a second visit and it was even better than the first time! It’s as if lots of the stress and running around (trying to see every site) had vanished and we totally enjoyed the place.

      Bet you loved Iceland… did you catch a glimpse at the Northern Lights?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I do like to return and check out new places and speak to the locals. Not all the time, but if there is a place that I really love and I can get back to it, it feels like a reward for all of the hard work in between.
    xx Jenelle

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re spot on! It’s such a lovely treat to head back to a destination that you loved and you’re so right about it being a lovely reward. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I cannot agree more as destinations being not just a tick off one’s ‘to-do’ list! I do love an ‘express city break’ but there’s something so much more languid about returning to a travel destination. Being able to take ones time and re-smell the roses is such a luxury. x

    Summertime Sadness – Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re so right, it really is lovely to not have that pressure to see everything and truly enjoy a place. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I totally agree with everything you’ve written in this post — I’ve visited London four times now on my own and I will absolutely continue going back time and time again. In fact, I’m coming back in May! London is my favourite city and by now, I’ve gotten so used to it I can just relax and explore at my own pace. I’ve done (mostly) all the big, touristy stuff so all that’s left now is the small, hidden stuff that you spoke about.

    I can’t wait to go back!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Vanessa 🙂

      You’re so right about London, it’s such a great city to explore… it’s one of our favourites in all the world (we know we’re incredibly biased, haha!). Ahhhh, so happy that you’re coming back in May – let us know if you need any tips or advice, always happy to help if we can 🙂

      Yaya & Lloyd xx

      • I will *definitely* hit you guys up for some insider tips – I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog and would love to get the chance to meet you for a quick drink 😀 x

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Yaaaas! We gotta meet up! We’d LOVE that! 🙂

          Let us know when you’re free and we’ll arrange a place! So excited, Vanessa 🙂

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

          • Woohoo! This waiting and counting down to May is KILLING me 😛

            I’ll let you know as soon as I land haha!

            • HandLuggageOnly

              Yay! Can’t wait 🙂 x

  • I always put myself under so much pressure to see everything that I miss out on any relaxation time. Just sitting in bar and watching the world go by! We recently revisited Florence and it great just to enjoy at a really leisurely pace. I’d love to go back to Cape Town and discover it more slowly.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We’re the same, Angie – sometimes you feel like you need a holiday to get over your holiday! Haha!

      Yes to Cape Town… that’s a city we rushed to see as much as we could too! We’d love to go back and really take in the whole vibe, it’s an incredible place isn’t it.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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