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.
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!
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.