You know that travel quote “I haven’t been everywhere – but it’s on my list” from Susan Sontag? Well, it might be cliched, but that really is what it’s like for me. I just love to travel, to explore, to find new places and see new things. I’m also a bit of a list-checker! I love to be able to check things off a list. While I don’t have a goal to visit every country in the world, it is kind of satisfying to tick another one off the list.
But what about all the countries I have already visited and feel like I need to go back again? Maybe I just really liked them and want to experience that again, or maybe there is so much more to the country I didn’t get to explore. Here are my top five countries I would like to visit again.
If you have read many of my other posts this will be no surprise. There is just something about Turkey that draws me to it. I’ve been to Istanbul twice now, and I would happily tell you it’s my favourite city in the world. It’s different enough to be intriguing, and has everything a big, modern city has. There is enough history here to satisfy anyone. The food is amazing and the prices are reasonable. It has Turkish tea!
The other parts of Turkey are just as interesting. I want to see more of the Adriatic coast. I also want to visit Bursa and surrounds, then head to the north coast. I’ve also not seen any part of Ankara except for the inside of the airport.
After my first visit to Vietnam back in 2013, I was satisfied with what we had seen. I didn’t have any real urge to return. Hue was the only place on my list for that first trip that I couldn’t fit into the itinerary, so when we were in the area during our gap year, I just had to visit.
All that visit has done is make me realise how much I really like Vietnam. I also seem to have found at whole pile more things I want to do, particularly in that central region. Or brief glimpse of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park makes me want to go back and explore it properly. oue day trip just was not enough.
The food in Vietnam is another big drawcard. I just love it. So cheap and tasty. I want to head back to the Hanoi Old Quarter, find a little stall with those teeny plastic stools and tables, and slurp up noodles and dumplings and whatever else is on offer until I can’t eat any more.
New Zealand is another country I have already visited more than once – in fact I have been there three times now. But for such a small country it really packs a punch in terms of how much there is to see and do there. I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface.
My next trip there is tentatively pencilled in for January 2020. I really want to hike the Milford Track, and that can only be done in summer.
Luckily I live in Australia, so it’s not that far to hop over the ditch to New Zealand. It’s also incredibly similar to Australia in terms of things like driving on the same side of the road, the food and of course the language. I also know quite a few New Zealanders so it is lovely to be able to catch up with people we know when we are there too.
When we arrived in Portugal last year, it was after a month of sub-zero temperatures, something I had never experienced before. It was such a relief to peel off the layers of clothing and enjoy being outside again. It was like a veil had lifted and everything was fresh and exciting. Lisbon was so relaxed to wander around in, and a day trip to the beautiful Sintra was just lovely, even if we did get rained on.
Porto was even better, with it’s Port Wine tasting, Harry Potter connections and good food. But I still have much more to see in Portugal. The Algarve region looks absolutely stunning with beautiful beaches and clear blue waters. We also need to head inland from Porto to see the Duoro Valley where the Port Wine grapes are grown. There are dozens of other picturesque towns that catch my eye too. I think next time it will be a road trip through this amazing country.
Okay, I know this is a region, not a country, but I couldn’t pick just one to go back to. I want to visit them all again, but next time I want to go in summer. When we were there in March last year I really liked all the countries, but it was particularly hard for me to deal with the sub-zero temperatures. We also found that many places were still closed for the winter, or the opening hours were reduced, so we couldn’t fit is as much as we would have liked.
I imagine all these countries will just come alive over the summer months. With such cold over winter, as soon as the sun comes out I imagine everyone to be out and about. I think with that atmosphere it would be such a fun time to visit.
I would also like my next visit to not be on such a tight budget as we were on during our gap year. Scandinavia is not exactly known as a budget travel location! There are a few things I would love to do that we just couldn’t do because of the restraints with both time and money. They are such beautiful countries and I really want to get out and explore.
Where Would You Like to Revisit?
What country do you keep going back to? Let me know in the comments below.
What more to read? Check out these posts
My Adult Gap Year in Review
A Step by Step Guide to Planning Your Trip
Think You Are Too Old for Hostels? A Gen Xer’s Guide to Budget Travel
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.