There are very few places that we have been to that I would return to. Why? The answer is not much more than this: it is a big world and there are a lot of great places out there I have not yet seen. Why would I spend time going to the same place again and again? My travel list is much too long.
However, there are always a few places along the way that win your heart, and going back there would not be such an awful thing. And then there are those places that I would actively seek an opportunity to revisit. For this wanderer, these are the top three places I would revisit in a heartbeat and why.
Absolutely my number one. To prove that point, we have been there twice, once in 2007, and again in 2008. The first time around, I fought WS on going. Too expensive, I said. We can’t swing it on our budget, I said. I finally relented, and in 2007 it became part of our around the world adventure. From the moment we arrived, I was in love. Japan appealed to my sense of order. I loved the cleanliness. I loved the quietness on the subways and trains. I loved the punctuality of the public transportation. The food was amazing, from local ramen shops to the sushi, to the snacks at 7-11. I loved it all. I was fascinated by their culture and their religion, and the fact that everything in Japan has its place.
This love and fascination left me wanting more. When we had a glitch in one of our flights to India in 2008, we had to be rerouted through Japan. I asked the airline if we could have a layover in Tokyo. They said sure! I asked for how long? They said as long as you want! Am I dreaming? Now I was begging WS to go to Japan like he begged me! We agreed on a week, and back to Tokyo we went. I was no less excited than the first time. We were lucky enough to spend New Year’s there and experience the celebration at a local temple, and to this day follow the Japanese tradition of cleaning the house, paying bills, and preparing for the new year by clearing out the old.
Last week my brother-in-law got married, and an old friend WS and his brother grew up with was in the wedding. He starting telling us about his wife’s family, who live in Tokyo. He told us they may be going back in April 2013 and if we wanted to go with them we were more than welcome. I hope he knew what he was in for, because I have already started looking at tickets! Round Three? Could be…..
If you ask me why I loved Bangkok, you would never believe me after my post above about Japan. To me, Bangkok was a mix of East meets West, Chaos meets Culture. Bangkok was this crazy, polluted, crowded city, yet I absolutely loved it. I loved the food, ah, the street food in Thailand is some of the best we have eaten anywhere. Soups and pad thai and mango with sticky rice and fresh fruit juice. One glorious choice after another. The public transport was a fantastic mix of light rail, subway, taxis and tuk tuks. At times there were so many contrasts to me, and how it all worked in some type of crazy harmony intrigued me.
We spent 6 weeks in Thailand in 2008, renting an apartment for most of that time, with Bangkok as our hub. But there were parts we did not get to visit , including the central portion of the country and the southwest coast. I really want to explore more if it, and would absolutely add a few days in Bangkok again. Well, maybe more than a few days…..
For last place, there was a tie in my little travel brain, so I decided to go more specific than just a country and go for a city. I think I would like to go back to each of these cities equally as Buenos Aires has been called the Paris of South America. We visited Buenos Aires in 2008 and rented an apartment in Recoleta. The dollar at the time was strong there, and we got very spoiled doing a lot of nice things for not a lot of money. We were on a tight budget, and being there was such a treat. I could wander around the city aimlessly for days looking at the amazing architecture and enjoying their fantastic food.
Ditto for Paris, which we visited in 2009. The museums and culture in both cities allow for exploration for all tastes. No matter your taste in music or art, you will find something to your liking in both places. Both cities had so much to do, and if you were bored it really was your own fault. I would return to both cities to explore a little further out from the city itself, something we did not do the first time around, and to re-experience what the cities have to offer once again.
What about you? Where would you go to again? Why?