Other than my girls holidays, I tend to never go back to the same holiday destination twice. Not because I have not enjoyed it, but because there is a huge great big world out there and I want to see as much of it as I can. However, now and again, a place captures me so much, that I long to return to it and it often enters my thoughts when Im looking at holidays. I wanted to share four travel destinations Id love to return to. Oh, and I have included some of my original travel photos, before the age of fabulous digital cameras, so forgive their quality!
Ohhhh Lapland you little devil. I think I left a little of my heart in Lapland. It will always hold a special place for all of us in my family, (I wrote a post on it, The Most Magical Holiday in Lapland) but I long to go back there without the Christmas bells and whistles. We went to Finnish Lapland, and it was so beautiful. I would love to see how it looks in the warmer months, with more daylight and green on the trees! In my imagination it is stunning. I also love the simplistic way of living that Finland seemed to have. It speaks to my soul and gives me all the hygge vibes! I would love a return visit.
The Whitsunday Islands – Australia
Oh my goodness, what a place! I literally felt like I owned an island when we went here. I remember Nik and I standing on the beach, looking left and right and not seeing another soul. It was so beautiful. The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 islands, situated between The Great Barrier Reef and the coast of Queensland in Australia. Most of the islands are inhabited, and are just the whitest sand, and dense rain forest. My idea of heaven right there.
Trees (I blooming love a tree or ten) and the sea, perfect! Some of the islands are developed for tourism, like Hamilton, Brampton and Daydream Islands, some have campsites and low impact (camping and tents) tourism on them like Hook Island, and some have no development at all. The islands are very popular amongst divers as obviously, you have the Great Barrier reef and all of its beautiful marine life. We were lucky enough to dive the Barrier Reef and it was an experience I will never forget. Black tipped reef sharks, stingrays with their smiley faces (I think they always look like they are smiling) and being kissed on the scuba mask by a clown fish made this an unforgettable experience. I wrote about the experience in this post, Swimming with Sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. It really is like an underwater kingdom. I was waiting for Ariel from Little Mermaid to pop up…….
Sadly, many of the islands got damaged by cyclone Debbie in 2017 and are closed to visitors for a while. The Whitsundays is somewhere that I long to go back to, and if the flight wasn’t so blooming long, I would have by now. A truly beautiful part of the world.
Porlock in Somerset, England
I think we are incredibly lucky here in the UK to have some beautiful places. Cornwall, The New Forest, The Lakes, so, so many. We visited Porlock in West Somerset a few years back with my family, and I literally fell in love. The chocolate box houses, old school villages, beautiful scenery, (cream teas, ahem) it really had it all. We did a caravan holiday here, hiring a 3 bedroom static caravan on a caravan park, which kept it much more affordable. Travel in the UK can be so expensive! I had a look at the site that we stayed at, Burrowhayes, and you can get a caravan from about £230 a week, off season.
If you love to take scenic walks, this was the perfect location. There was so many walking trails and mapped walks you could take. While here, I did a horse trek through the rolling hills and woodlands, which was spectacular. The walking trails will often have you passing through beautiful villages, nature revealing the best of what it has to offer, and so many places that you could rest up and have a drink. People even had little tea rooms set up in the gardens of their homes that you could stop off and have a cream tea at. It was idilic. Somerset is one of those places that I am itching to get back and explore more of. Its about 4/5 hours drive from London, so not somewhere we can get to on our daily jaunts out. We are hoping to get back there next year though, perhaps for a few days break. If you haven’t been and you love that Darling Buds Of May type life, you would fall in love with this part of England for sure.
I have spoken about my love of Bali previously, and it is one of the places I credit with forming parts of my character. You can see why in part, Bali had such an impact on me in this post, Why I Feel Travel Can Be The Key To Growth. When we were there, (in the 90’s) it was very much a back packers paradise, and had a totally laid back feel to it. Kuta, one of the larger resorts of Bali was no where near the tourist trail it is now, so we really did see it in its best light. I also had a real spiritual moment in a large temple in Ubud, which also gave me a nudge in the direction of the path I seem to have stayed on. A spiritual, bhuddist inspired, approach to life and the world around us. People tell me that Bali has changed a lot from when I visited, and I will admit that this scares me from going back. Id hate to think differently of the place I have such beautiful memories of. However, I do long to see Dempasa, Tanah Lot temple, and the rice fields. One day maybe……
Rotorua, New Zealand
New Zealand also holds a very special place in my heart. I spent a couple of months exploring the North and South islands, and it was amazing. Rotorua, if you are not aware, is on the North island, and is famous for its geothermal activity, and strong Maori culture. It literally feels like you can feel the Earth’s power and strength. Bubbling mud pools, exploding geysers, and a thriving Maori village make this a very unique and special place.
My husband was even taught the villages Haka for protection and strength. (I think I laughed for an hour seeing him having to follow the village elders tutoring of The Haka). You can also learn traditional Maori wood carving and weaving in the village, and just generally immerse yourself in this fascinating culture. I would love to go back to Rotorua, especially with my passion for planet earth even stronger! I think I would be the weirdo at the mud pools, whacking the mud on my skin and breathing in Rotorua’s strong sulpha, centre-of-the-earth smell.
There are a couple of other countries I would love to see again, but diffent areas. For example, I would love to return to The Maldives where we went 26 years ago, (to an island called Bandos) but a different island. Austria too feels so undiscovered still to me. We loved Salzburg last year, ( you can read about our visit in this post, Mini Break in Salzburg – Hints, tips and the basics) and I now would love to return and visit Vienna. Scotland too, I long to do the West Highland Hike. Again, I know many people don’t like re-visiting countries, especially if they are “country counters” but I feel I need to see more of some places. They lure me back for some reason.
So, what about you? Do you feel you still have some unfinished business with any of the places you visited? Somewhere that you long to return to? Do you tend to revisit places, or are you like us and go somewhere different every time? I would love to hear!