I think most travel destinations can be categorized in four different ways.
There are the places that you go to that you can't get on board with.
Maybe they're not your cup of tea, or something happens that casts a shadow on your time there (like street harassment, getting robbed, or falling ill).
Whatever the case, you don't enjoy the place, and you're quite relieved to get out of there.
Then there are destinations that you travel to, which are okay.
You don't have a terrible time there, and you like it well enough, but you don't feel a burning desire ever to go back.
Some places, on the other hand, you can't get enough of. As you walk down the streets, you can imagine a life there.
You can see yourself living in a little apartment, getting your groceries from the local supermarket, and you've already picked out a favorite cafe.
You either make it your mission to move there, or daydream about the place whenever you're feeling a bit bored or stifled in your current situation.
Then there's those that you really, genuinely love – not to the point of wanting to live there, but you can see yourself returning at some point in the future, or at least you hope.
Here are five travel destinations worth returning to. I fell for these places hard – or felt I could genuinely love in different circumstances.
If I had the chance to go again, I wouldn't hesitate in the slightest!
I'd been to neighboring Germany and Switzerland lots of times, but had somehow never stepped foot into Austria.
Last year, I had a chance to rectify this when wanting to fly from Zurich to Stockholm.
Flights from Switzerland were far too expensive, with nearby Vienna being a much cheaper option.
I decided to travel to the Austrian capital by train and spend a day there before flying on to Sweden.
It quite simply wasn't enough time. I spent a marathon day walking around the city, losing myself in art galleries, eating delicious meals, and taking in the sights.
I was quite disappointed when I left a day later – I could have spent a lot longer in Vienna and at the airport, swore I'd return… one day.
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Costa Rica captured my heart in general, but no place so much as Tortuguero.
A small village on the North Caribbean coast, the name can be translated to “Land of Turtles.”
This is because it is a breeding ground for turtles such as the leatherback, hawksbill, and the endangered green turtle, which nest there every year.
I wasn't there during the turtle season, and it's pretty much a life ambition for me to see one nest one day. I'd love to go back.
My time spent in York was fairly disastrous, with nearly nothing going to plan.
I was there for 24 hours and missed seeing the Minster Choir perform in the city's famous cathedral and mixed up the times for the local ghost tour that night.
That aside, I found York to be architecturally stunning and the people so friendly. It remains one of my favorite cities in England.
Kyoto was the last stop of a whirlwind ten-day tour of Japan a few years ago.
I found Tokyo to be too big and busy, and Osaka left me wanting, but Kyoto seemed like a perfect mix of old meets new.
I spent one very idyllic day cycling around, looking at the various temples and shrines and ate quite a few tasty meals. I'll be making a return visit when I travel to Japan in the future.
Copenhagen was somewhere I wanted to love, yet I didn't.
I went there straight from Iceland, which I adored (like everyone else in the world, it would seem!), and so Copenhagen paled in comparison.
I was staying in a pretty terrible hostel as well, which didn't help and was having one of those moments when traveling solo, where I didn't know what to do with myself.
It was a shame, as Copenhagen is a lovely city, and I'd like to return one day.
I'll just make sure not to travel there straight after Iceland, ever again.
LC is an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia. Follow her adventures at home and abroad via her blog Birdgehls, where she writes about travel, expat life, gushes on about various animals and bemoans her often futile attempts to go completely green. Or, you can look her up on Facebook.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.
Monday 20th of March 2017
I've been to Kyoto twice! I'm already thinking about going back. I've yet to see the cherry blossom in spring :)
Monday 3rd of April 2017
From pictures, that would be a sight worth seeing for sure!
Thursday 9th of March 2017
Some of the places are worth visiting twice! But I think Kyoto is a one-time visit place. It's my personal choice though! :)
Monday 3rd of April 2017
Ha, I love that about travel though - everyone has a different opinion, due to their own preferences! And I'll admit I love both writing about and hearing them.