article hero

Here’s Why It’s Okay To Visit A Place More Than Once


Yaya Norazman •  Mar 13, 2019


[Updated 14 September 2020] We are all certain that the next vacation we're about to plan for ourselves should fulfil the following criteria:
  1. A destination we've never been to
  2. Repeat (1)
But what if we tell you that going back to the place you've been to before could be a good thing? That's right - visiting a destination means a lot more than a breezy navigation through streets you've come to know by heart. Read on, and you'll find out why.
Experience more of what marveled you 
In the very few times I've travelled, I always make it a point to learn something new. Whether it's about the local culture, the politics, the history -- almost everything catches my interest. Hence, the first time can sometimes be a tad overwhelming to the mind. Consider your second time at a destination as your second chance to rediscover the place, and fall in love all over again. Now that you know your way around, it'll be easier to focus on getting the most out of your trip holistically. Pay attention to the exquisite architectural details of that building you took a photo of. Watch how the street food vendor tosses about the ingredients that make up your favourite snack here. Before you know it, you've come to appreciate the atmosphere of this place that keeps calling you while you were away.
Change in perspective
As we grow up, the lens through which we view the world may render anew.
Credit: @valeriem8 on Instagram The travel experience you gained as a kid with your family will run in contrast to the ones you gained in your 20s and 30s. This sets you up to draw new insights from tried and true destinations ✈ Recall the place you harboured the fondest or the most sorrowful memories in once upon a time. Returning with a matured perspective will not only help you make peace with the past, but it'll also bring about gratification in the far-out corners of your mind knowing that this place has played a role in shaping the wiser and more grounded you today.
Share the place you love with your loved ones
Nothing says "I love you" like bringing your treasured ones on a vacation to a place they remind you of. Sharing your favourite view with your family members or significant other not only feels utterly satisfying, but it also helps build the foundation for stronger relationships ?‍?‍?‍?

Bear in mind that there's always the risk that the place you thoroughly like does not strike a strong chord with your loved ones, and that's okay, too. It simply proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and even the ones you're closed to have a preference of their own.

P.S. Looking to surprise your beau to a romantic getaway? Check out these 16 amazing destinations we listed, especially for you.

Soak up the charm of the place - completely 
Every city and village has its own charm that one needs time to discover. Perhaps the first time you went to a place, you only had the tourist-flocked attractions in your itinerary. The second visit should strike your curiosity about how the locals actually go about their everyday lives in lesser-known parts of the district. This applies equally to the locality you live in. Coming from Petaling Jaya (PJ), a central hub in Klang Valley, I feel that there's no such thing as knowing my ever-changing city inside out. New places to dine in and to spend leisure time in spring up from time to time, older places with its preserved charm-- all of which define the historical satellite city into the modern, vibrant city I grew up in. Until now, I still find myself Googling up new things in PJ to try every other weekend, and I'm always assured that this place never disappoints.
Credit: @fahmieabubakar on Instagram

P.S. Wondering what else does Klang Valley offers? Click and find out KV's 8 best-kept secrets we prepared for you.

Seeking comfort in the unfamiliar

Ever caught yourself looking for familiarity in a foreign place, such as a fellow national when you're all alone in a destination that's new to you or even food native to your region? You're not alone!

We're all always looking for common ground, and it does not have to necessarily be someone who looks like us or speaks our language. It can be the shopkeeper at the surf shop in Bali you once exchanged jokes with, or the accommodating technician you met in a boutique hotel in Manhattan who always greets you every morning you were there. Anything and everything that defined the place in your mind.

Go ahead and revisit the food joint you longed for terribly since you left, watch a cultural show you missed previously and walk down those lanes to recall how happy this place once made you feel.

Build connections far from home

Avid globetrotters will agree when I say some of the best relationships are those initiated outside of one's comfort zone. If you previously find yourself shying away from making friends when you travel, now's the time to change that ?

Think of it this way: we all have a goal to achieve when choosing our travel destination. Something you can't find by staying where you are; it can be a serene escape in the raw nature, a self-discovery journey far from civilisation -- anything.

When you meet fellow travellers at this place you found yourself in, it's very likely that they share your very purpose. The only way you'll know this is true is by mingling with them!

Credit: @_literallee_ on Instagram

The next time you backpack, make it a point to hang out with your dormmates or the people you go on guides with. Have meaningful conversations while you're at it. Chances are you'll be making new friends along the way, whom you'll treasure for years to come.

P.S. Can't decide where to go on your next backpacking adventure? We got your back with these 10 dreamy backpacking destinations!

A chance to get candid

Most of us come well-prepared when travelling someplace new. We plan every route, know exactly where to stay, where to dine, where to take Instagram-worthy photos, etc. All of which is a pretty safe way to experience a country we've never been to.

But if you're returning for the second time, the best piece of advice we can give you is to be completely spontaneous and watch how the same place unravels its magic around you.

Credit: @kmh_foto on Instagram

Allow yourself to get lost in the city you once thought you knew. Grab a map, get off at a random train/metro station, and dive into the streets and corners where the locals hang out at.

I personally love taking a walk in a public park or busy alfresco eating spots, where you're most likely to meet street artists e.g painters and musicians. They're the easiest folks to strike a candid conversation with. I'll always remember sharing a warm conversation with this saxophonist in Central Park on a cold winter afternoon. He enthused about wanting to know more about Malaysia after coming across friendly Malaysians visiting the park, and boy was I happy to hear that!

However, be mindful of their time and always give monetary token! Thank them for their time, and let them know it was nice meeting them before you part ways.

Assimilate with the locals like a pro

Now that you've gathered more courage being in a place you once explored, why not take on an unhinged adventure and seep into the local community like its one of your own back home?

Observing unique traditions across different cultural and religious groups is one way to make your trip memorable this time around. Tour services will come in handy if you don't know where to begin, as they usually offer cultural immersion packages where you can don traditional attires and take part in the events organised by the locals. Depending on where you're heading off to, a little bit of research goes a long way.

Credit: @iyaotero on Instagram

If being part of a crowd is not your thing, it's not the end of the world.

What you can do instead is hop onto the next (reliable) public transport you see and explore the vicinity like a local. Make sure you have an offline map with you, however!

Check out the markets, town squares, wherever you see locals spend their time at. If you've hardly ever ventured out of hotel cuisines and fast food chains, give local street flavours a try this time around!

Credit: @global_wanderings on Instagram

That's a wrap of all the reasons we want you to visit that place that has been lingering on your mind. Braving a country you've been to does not have to be predictable. We hope this piece has convinced you to consider going back to that destination you once fell in love with and opens up doors of possibilities as well as rooms for new memories. Best of luck!