You guys, we have a problem.
Almost every time we leave a place, practically as soon as we’re out of the city limits, we sigh and exclaim that we must return someday and find a way to live as locals for a while. At this point, we’re starting to rack up quite a long list of potential future homes.
Sometimes, it’s because we didn’t get to see everything there is to see. Sometimes, it’s because we didn’t get to eat all the food. And sometimes, it’s because we simply fell in love.
It seems that most people would rather visit new destinations, but a part of me quite likes the idea of returning to a place I love… like being reunited with a lover after many long months/years apart. I like the familiarity of revisiting old favorites and the excitement of discovering new things. And I think as with anywhere, you can never truly see all of one place no matter how often you return.
So here, I present the top 5 destinations that I’m just dying to return to (in no particular order).
London was the first ever European city I have ever set foot in. The street were clean and the buildings were grand. Pots of flowers hung from every lamppost. People were everywhere. It rained… a lot. I had no idea which way to look when crossing the street. Everything was so expensive that I didn’t dare to buy water (and yet bought a ridiculously overpriced giant macaron). And I LOVED everything about it (okay… except for the prices.)
Sadly, we could only stay for 2 nights (in the smallest, crappiest place we’ve ever stayed in). And we made the most of our 2 full days by riding around a tour bus like super tourists. We barely even covered a fraction of the city. I wanted more. But before I knew it, we were sitting on a train speeding towards Paris.
Sigh… these short days were definitely not enough. I’m dreaming of when I can return, but we’ll probably never have the funds to stay longer than a few days… Does anyone want to host us?!
2. Warsaw, Poland
I’m surprised myself that I even have Warsaw on my list! Honestly, I did not expect to like it at all. I had heard from quite a few other people that Warsaw is boring and lacks character (as it was completely destroyed by the war and then rebuilt). The only reason we even went was because D has Polish family members there, and we were going to meet them and get a free bed for a few nights.
I never expected to like it so much! Warsaw is proof that the best way to see a city is with locals. They can show you the best places, bring you to the best restaurants, and teach you things that make you appreciate the city that much more. We found ourselves bombarding D’s relatives with questions about property prices, mortgage rates, etc. …. because, maybe someday. :P
Okay, actually Warsaw is not my favorite Polish city, but being located in Central Poland + having family close by = the perfect city to return to! And it’s only a few hours away from Wroclaw too, so I can just hop on a train and go eat my heart out at my new favorite restaurant ever.
3. Santiago, Chile
My heart will forever hold a special place for Santiago. It was my first introduction to long term travel. When I arrived, I was scared and nervous, even afraid that this whole thing was a mistake. But over the next month, I learned to love everything about it. And we learned to function as travelers, from dealing with people who didn’t speak the language (almost no one spoke English) to using public transport to how not to get your stuff stolen.
Now, when I think about our time in Santiago, I think of the friendly ladies at the food stalls, the vibrant neighborhoods, and how we felt truly at home. I would love to return and revisit my beloved city. And most of all, I want to use Santiago as a base point to explore the rest of Chile. As scared newbies, we didn’t venture out too far from this capital city, but Chile has SO much more to offer.
I gotta include a tropical spot on this list! Hawaii is the only tropical place I’ve ever been to and it was just the every bit of paradise as people say it is. We swam in warm turquoise waters, stuffed our faces with spam musubi and island fried rice, and indulged in our adventurous side with activities in nature. I’ve never been anywhere more beautiful.
Despite our current travels being mainly through capital cities, I’m really not that much of a city girl. I would so much rather see green fields and dense trees and ocean waves. Now, whenever I’m sick of the noise and crowds of the city, my mind always drifts back that that week in Hawaii, and how everything was so pretty and how life was blissfully slow.
We only went to Oahu on that trip, but I would love to return and explore the Big Island and Kauai. And then maybe settle down in a secluded little beachfront bungalow to live the island life… sigh, a girl can only dream.
5. Portland, Oregon
To me, Portland is the ultimate foodie’s playground. As much as I like a gourmet meal in a nice restaurant now and then, I like eating out on the streets even more. And there’s nowhere better to get gourmet street food than in Portland. From porchetta sandwiches to Japanese octopus balls to the spiciest (and yummiest) pad Thai I’ve ever had… Portland street carts has it all. And it’s all the BEST I’ve ever had!! I also blame Portland for igniting my love affair with high end chocolate and gourmet ice cream.
AND it has the largest bookstore in the world!! … Need I say more about how much I love Portland?!
The only time I visited, I was too busy stuffing my face every 100 feet to get outside of the downtown area. I want to go back to explore the surrounding areas. And I want to go eat at all of the new street carts that pop up every year.
As of now (fall 2014), these are my top 5 places to revisit. I’m sure this list will grow and change with every new place I visit. I think when we travel, we leave a little piece of our heart at each place. And revisiting a place allows us to fill in the hole a little bit. :)
This post is promoted by Shikha, who so nicely asked me to write about my Top 5 Destination as part of Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There campaign. Thanks, Shikha, this was fun! … but hard! (And I think an iPhone 6 is involved too.)
I also want to hear from ALL of you!!! So tell me in the comments your top places to revisit!
This post is also linked up to #SundayTraveler with Pack Me To and others, and don’t forget to support all the other participating blogs (links at the bottom of post)!