Travelling the world is exciting, it’s exhilarating and always new – it gives us so many incredible experiences and opportunities and really does broaden our horizon when it comes to people, places and cultures (which can only be good).

After finishing school and plodded off to university (with a lovely little part-time job in tow), I started to realised that; a) I could actually make my own (version) of food and b) that I could start to afford the odd break to a new and exciting place. Straight away, this had me scouring Google Maps and every flight website possible for the coolest and affordable places to visit… after all, I was a student who still primarily lived on baked beans on toast (a totally  British thing) and the odd tequila shot on a student night out.

On Island Time… In Maafushivaru, Maldives (36)

During my time in University, I was able to visit quite a few places in Europe; Florence, Amsterdam, Dublin, Brussels (anywhere within easy reach of my nearest airport), but constrained by my budget and my want to travel more, I found myself choosing not wanting to visit the same places twice – in fact, I refused to…

… and this is where the problem was.

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Whilst ‘trying’ to grow up at university, reading all those glossy magazines on ‘bucket lists’, I came to place little value on visiting a place twice. Travelling became a badge of pride for me, to visit new places as if I had a shopping list of things to see and tick off. It came to a point, money permitting, that I actively sought not to travel unless I was visiting a new an exciting place. Now, elements of this are not bad – it makes us strive to do more exploring, to find exciting new places and really see much more of our beautiful world – but when it comes to striking off a place because you’ve already been… that’s not the best.

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It’s perfectly reasonable to not want to visit a place a second time – if you didn’t enjoy it but that was never the case for me.

Fast forward a good few years and it came to a point where I was persuaded (by my motley crew of friends) to visit a place for the second time. It was Amsterdam…”Urgh, again?” I remember myself thinking. Thoughts ran through my head about how it was awful to be visiting the place twice, how I’d hate every second and how I’d much rather be visiting Barcelona (where I’d always wanted to go) instead.

Thankfully, as with life, I found out it’s better to learn from experience than with preconceptions. The whole ethos of travelling to tick off a checklist and to disregard places I have already seen was not just unhelpful – it was stopping me see the world. The thing with travel is, that every place is temporal – places change, people move and new places sprout up.

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Travel is, after all, all about experiences and memories we can treasure. My last visit to Amsterdam was my ninth visit to the city and I can safely say, I’m raring to visit for the tenth time. I’ve come to realise the importance of ‘experiencing‘ and not just fulfilling a fleeting checklist of places without truly seeing a place.

Travel is fun, it’s exciting, sometimes it can be hard, but it’s always new 🙂

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  • And this purely why you are the BEST … the photos always PROVED it! Simply amazing shots of the sceneries! 🙂

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, thanks so much, Mia – you’ve made our evening with your really kind words. Thank you ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I totally agree with this. There are many places in this world that I want to see, and yet, I’m rather unexpectedly making my 4th trip to London in the spring. I just can’t get enough of it. I’m also going to add in a couple of other places while I’m abroad including my first trip to Greece and a return to Paris and I can’t wait!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly… so glad you feel the same Shannon. Greece is so AMAZING! You’re going to love it! 🇬🇷

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’m a big believer in visiting places you love more than once. I mean, why not?? I’ve been to NYC ten times – I used to go every summer with my family – and so far, I’ve been to the UK four times (this May will be my fifth trip there). Yes, I’d love to travel to other destinations, but right now I’m perfectly content with sticking to the few places I truly enjoy (London is definitely my favourite).

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! It’s so nice isn’t it, especially if you love the place.

      Ps. We gotta agree with you on London 🇬🇧 ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Emma

    Sometimes the comfort of going to a place you’ve been before is amazing. You aren’t spending all of your time sightseeing and being a tourist, but truly relaxing and enjoying a trip away! I love going back to Paris, it’s the perfect city for a revisit!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, Emma – it’s so nice isn’t it. No stress, just lots of discovery and exploration. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Yes – thank you for writing this post! I think it is far too easy to get caught up in that mindset, particularly when everyone is visiting exciting far-flung places and appears to be checking everything off their bucket list. There is nothing wrong with returning to a new place. If anything it’s better as you can properly relax and you get to know the place better and find more interesting spots, rather than just heading to the tourist haunts. I now have the problem that not only do I have a list a mile long of places I want to go to that I’ve never been to, I also have a huge list of places I want to return to!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So happy you agree – we totally know what you mean. We try our best to never count a destination as ‘seen’ – Places change so fast and you’re right, it’s so nice to go back and just chill and enjoy the place.

      So glad you agree ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • I’ve been to London a half a dozen times now and still haven’t seen everything I want to see! During my past few trips, I’ve added in some additional locations (a day trip to Paris, a weekend in Dublin, a week in the Cotswolds), but I know I will always go back to London. I think there’s something nice about having a home away from home.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There really is. We feel the same way, Kate. London is an amazing city isn’t it – especially when it feels so great to visit again and again 🇬🇧

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Absolutely agree! I love returning to my favorite cities. I’ve been to Rome 4 times and I enjoy it so much every time. It feels like home away from home. Same deal with Paris. They are both cities where there is so much to see and do that one visit would never be enough. 😁

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you think so too – it really is the best way to see a destination – especially when you’re truly comfortable with the place.

      We’d LOVE to return to Rome. We’ve visited twice but that just isn’t enough… still not had time to chill and just soak up the city 🇮🇹❤️

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I totally get this! I’m always anxious to go see new places, but there’s nothing wrong with going back to some old ones too!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Same! So glad you think the same way, Rachel 🤗

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Danielle Naughton

    I’m exactly the same! I get anxious about exploring new places and adding to the list of places I’ve been and forgetting thats its okay to go back to somewhere i’ve been and explore all over again

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! Ahhhh, so happy you agree too, Danielle. It really is amazing to enjoy a place more than once! 😘

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • A Woman Afoot

    What a great post, Lloyd! Many times I’ve seen people boasting how many countries people have visited as if checking off a list… And I’m all for slow travel, experiencing. I’m mostly hiking with sometimes using local transportation… I spent a month in Scotland last year and I know that in that time I could have seen seven countries at least! But I prefer to go slowly, from village to village, on my own time. And I want to go back to seem more of this wonderful place, do some trails again. I also want to see new places – but don’t feel the pressure to visit them all or go to countries where I wouldn’t be comfortable just to “tick them off” the list.

    happy travels!
    Ioanna (A Woman Afoot)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! So glad you agree, Ioanna. Thanks so much for your really kind comments. 😊

      A month in Scotland is amazing! That is such a lovely way to travel!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx