I’ve been in the position many times. My friends or family decide to take the lead with the trip planning and include must-visit destinations that I’ve already been to. I remember one vacation in particular when two friends and I decided to do a month-long backpacking trip through western Europe. Of the four cities on their non-negotiable itinerary, I had been to three. It wasn’t until we got to Barcelona and I found myself able to navigate the streets without a map I realized I actually enjoyed revisiting the city. To help you enjoy revisiting a city, here are some tips.
Revel In Your Confidence
One of my favorite parts about revisiting a city I’ve already been to is being able to walk around without a map. Although I hadn’t been to Barcelona in two years, the week I had spent there previously was somehow etched permanently into my brain. I found myself knowing how to get places simply based on memory. It’s such a different feeling from landing in a new city for the first time, unsure of where to go and clutching your map for dear life. Now, you’ll be able to explore with confidence.
Take a trip down memory lane, literally. Revisit the shop where you had your first gelato, walk by the park where you had a memorable encounter with a stranger or have a drink at the bar you and your travel companions went for happy hour. Allow yourself to experience the intensity of a memory when you are remembering it with all your senses.
Give Yourself A Mission
This is my favorite thing to do in every city I visit, whether the first time or the fifth. Maybe last time you visited this particular city you focused on learning about the history or the museums. Why not give yourself a mission to explore a new facet, like adventurous pursuits or cheap eats? You can even make it a challenge with yourself, finding the hiking trail with the best view or the city’s best burger.
Visit A Site You Didn’t Have Time To Last Trip
No matter how long you spend in a city, it never seems to be enough time. There’s always something new you could have seen or something more you could have learned. On your second time around, you’ll gain an even broader view of the destination by being able to visit some of these sites.
Revisit Sites With A New Appreciation
Your view of the things you see will be different the second time around. While the first time you may have been confused or in awe, you now have the ability to understand and appreciate more. Embrace the position you’re in and enjoy your new point of view.
Perhaps last time you visited the city you just skimmed the surface. Now is your opportunity to dig deeper and learn more about the culture. Talk to locals, do a homestay, visit museums and spend time taking in the moments and interactions that go on in everyday life for community members. You’ll gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the place you’re visiting.
Grow A Bond
The more time you spend in a place, the deeper your bond with it grows. Although I’ve visited numerous cities in countries all over the world, my favorites are always the ones I spent the most time. For example, one of my favorite places in the world is Achiase, Ghana. It’s an extremely small village with not much to do; however, I did a month-long homestay there and really grew attached to the place and the people.
Keep A Positive Attitude
Maybe you’re revisiting a place because you have to, or maybe you’re doing it because you want to. Either way, it’s important to remember how lucky you are to be traveling and seeing other parts of the world, whether for the first time or the fiftieth. No matter what you do in life, a positive attitude can be the difference between a worthwhile experience and something you’ll regret.