He Said/She Said: Places to Return to

He Said/She Said: Places to Return to


We have been roaming the globe for nearly three years, seeking out new places and unique experiences, but what places have won our hearts and make the list of places we would like to visit again?  We both make our lists of the places we hope to return to in the future.



I’d be lying if I didn’t say it: there aren’t many places from this trip I’d return to.  That was the point of this trip for me, I wanted to see as much as we could in each place we went…leaving little to regret or return to…something we did. That isn’t to say I saw all of any country we visited, but we tried to make it to everything that interested us and the tourist-brochure highlights.  Not only that, but this trip was about doing the travel we wouldn’t want to do later.  Those 20 hour bus rides over unpaved roads?  More of those are in my past than future.  While we accomplished our goal of the hard and long travel, there are a few places that I must go back to…

North Korea.  I’m at least the millionth person to say this in the last 50 years…North Korea has to change.  I may be the millionth+1 to be wrong, but if ¨regime change¨ happens I want to see it.  While I am too young to have seen the fall of communism in Eastern Europe or to experience the reunification of Germany, what I do know is that a ton of cool communist things were lost in the transition.  The epic monuments and twisted histories are something that I hope gets preserved in North Korea…I mean it’s worth it for future generations to learn how a new star was added to the sky when Kim Jong-Il was born and that his father may have single-handedly won World War II.  The benefit to preserving the history and monuments is to remember our history…good and bad.

Brazil.  We gave India and China almost four months each, yet only had one month for just as massive Brazil.  There is so much to see in the huge country and everything we saw we loved.  From rocking Carnival in Rio to trying the ¨world’s best pizza¨ in Sao Paulo to living it up in beautiful Ouro Preto (pictured above), Brazil surprised at every turn.  It is a country we’ll have to return to…many more times.



This trip has been about seeing the world and having new experiences, we haven’t done much back tracking and very few cities have been repeated on our itinerary.  However, there are a few places that I know I want to return to.  Some of them are just too amazing to visit only once, others I have unfinished business and some I’m just curious how it will develop in the coming years.

Huaraz, Peru is at the top of my list of places to return because I came to climb a mountain and due to the season was unable to attempt it.  For that reason alone I will be back to summit Huascaran, one of the tallest mountains outside the Himalayas.  However, there is more to this city than just this one quest, it serves as the perfect base for all the amazing trekking to enjoy in the Cordillera Blanca.  The eight day Huayhuash trek has earned itself a spot on my bucket list as well.

The temples of Bagan, Myanmar are just part of the reason I would return.

Myanmar is one of my favorite countries in the world, the friendly people, the stunning sights and the delicious food are reason enough to return.  But the main reason I want to visit again is to see how the country changes and develops as it opens up to the world.  When we visited we couldn’t even get online and now I see facebook updates from friends visiting the country.

The Philippines is the place that made me think I could become a beach person.  The quiet white sand beaches and incredible snorkeling on the island of Palawan were enough to convince me that I could be happy spending days lounging around in my swimsuit with a tropical drink in hand.  In fact it would be the perfect get away for future vacations.

Tasmania won my heart from the first moment we landed in Hobart.  The fantastic local food scene, beautiful vistas and quirky art museum have me already plotting my return.  Hobart isn’t the only place that would be on my itinerary, the famed Overland Track would definitely be part of the plan on my next visit.

I know my quest for discovering new places is not over, but it’s always nice to return to some place familiar.  We both look forward to creating new memories in some of our favorite places from this trip.

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» Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) :
Jun 20, 2013

We left on our trip with very much the same mindset you guys had: we’ll use this opportunity to cross a bunch of countries off of our list of places we’d like to go, specifically in Asia and Europe, so that in the future, we can focus our vacations on other parts of the globe.

After just our first country, we realized our plan was just not going to work. Maybe it’s because I’m a completionist, but even after 27 days in Japan, we left happy with what we had seen and done, but very much aware that we had only scratched the surface of the country, and for every one place we had visited, another one simply cropped up in its place. We also discovered that we just didn’t find rushing through countries very satisfying, because although it’s true that traveling for months at a time is unusual, if we were only going to spend 2 or 3 weeks in each country, well, that’s something we could do with conventional vacation time. So we slowed down, and now we see less places in a country, but I think we leave with a better sense of what they are really like. There are a few places we have left and felt that we wouldn’t really get anything out of a return visit, but honestly, I think at least 70% of the places we have left, we’d be happy to go back and there would be different things we would want to do. And then there are certain places where we are desperate to return, simply because we loved them so much and it makes us too sad to think we might never get to go back. Take Vietnam: we wound up spending nearly 2 months there, and yet we still haven’t gotten our fill!
Read Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)’s awesome post The Sights and Sounds of Taipei

LOCAVORista Reply:

Steph, I totally agree about wanting to go back to 70% of the places we’ve been, I just mentioned the places that really stood out, but Vietnam is a place I would love to go back to along with Japan. It’s just too hard to see it all!

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.


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