When I was younger, I was convinced that I wanted to just hit up each place once - basically just to say I'd been there - and make the list of countries I visited as long as possible. However, once I started exploring the world, I've built up real soft spots in my heart for certain places and I realized that there's merit to revisiting cities again and again.
I thought I'd list my five most notable revisited cities and offer five solid reasons that going back to a city is just as great (maybe even better) than trying a new place.
So, here are my five favorite revisits that I would do over and over again, if I had the time and funds:
- Paris - February 2009, July 2009, November 2010, May 2014
- London - April 2008, February 2009, July 2009, November 2010, (pending trip August 2016)
- Dublin - February 2009, November 2010
- Providenciales - August 2012, October 2014
- Washington, D.C. - so many times I can't even count, most recently: April 2014, April 2015
And here are my five reasons that I love returning to beloved cities:
During my most recent trip to Paris, I was there with my sister and our favorite cousin and her husband. We spent the afternoon walking around, getting crepes by the Centre Pompidou, visiting Notre Dame, the Arch de Triomphe, and got dinner at Relais de L'entrecote. Meanwhile, I totally impressed my cousin because I barely consulted a map the entire time we were there.
Without even meaning to, I had memorized how to navigate my favorite parts of the city. It imprinted on me. And I love that.
Similarly, in Turks & Caicos our second time around, I felt much more confident in the rental car driving on the left side of the road. We already knew the best snorkeling spots so we devoted our days there and didn't waste our precious vacation time lallygagging about.
Even if you were lucky enough to spend a month away, there would still be holes in your itinerary. Whether the weather screws you up, or crowds, or scheduling, whatever the case if you revisit, you can give it another go.
During my first visit to Dublin, we missed out on a visit to the Guinness Storehouse because of time (we only had about 36 hours) and also because we were seriously too broke. I know that sounds insane, but if you can picture it, D and I were surviving off of €2 cheese sandwiches from Pret-a-Manger for all three meals. So, when I got the chance to go back and I had a little more disposable income, the Storehouse became a priority.
This is a benefit related to the familiarity factor. If you've already been to a city and gotten a photo with your favorite icons, then you can devote your time to some of the lower key spots and live like a local.
D.C. is my favorite example of a "slow down" location. I've been there so many times that I'm perfectly fine avoiding the lines at the museums and skirting the crowds at the monuments. I've fallen in love with biking around the city, eating some of the delicious foods on offer, and trying to see the cherry blossoms every spring.
EXPERIENCING DIFFERENT SEASONS
Cities can have totally different personalities at different times of the year. I mean, I'm sure you can imagine the difference between a summer farmers market and a winter Christmas, right?
When we went to Turks & Caicos the first time around, we had just missed lobster season. The second time, we were in the thick of it so I had the best time ever chowing down on so much lobster. On the flip side, the snorkeling was better during our first trip (because the water was gentler) so it was nice that we got to experience both luxuries.
BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT