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12 Places I Would Love To Revisit

Eighteen years ago, I was one of those people who wanted to visit places that I only ever saw on television so I could say that I have been there. One reason was because my idea of a holiday at that time was rest- meaning exploring a place was not high on the itinerary, but staying in a hotel most of the day was. It wasn't until my first trip to Paris sometime in 2003 that I realised that "being in a place" meant I had to wake up early to see sights, walk and/or take public transport to get there and learn at least a thing or two about the place. To say the least, I was quite lazy and ignorant. I wasn't cultured enough to bother about what went on with the rest of the world around me. Thankfully, I was somehow forced to see the world and so now, I have better intentions when I travel. 

Traveling for me now means escaping from my normal routine to learn more about myself and other people, including the people I am traveling with. Traveling have helped me overcome my fear of exploring and getting lost in an unfamiliar place. It pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, even if it meant going hiking for the first time in Cinque Terre, eating gravlax in Stockholm (food that I've never heard of before), speaking broken Italian in Venice (language that I didn't and still don't speak), digging a "hole" in the Sahara to use as a toilet (something I never thought I would do abroad) and crawling to reach the top of a Moorish castle in Sintra (because of my fear of heights). Traveling has taught me to have an open mind, to immerse myself in different cultures and to be more aware of other people's customs. 

I am very thankful and blessed to have traveled a fair bit during those times when I dreamed of becoming a travel blogger (not) and the only social media platform I could use to document and share my travel adventures was, which has now turned into a business website I believe. It was 3 years before I discovered facebook in 2008, and years before everyone's life started to revolve around social media. It was long before everyone is seemingly obligated to share almost everything that is happening in their everyday life online because if they don't, then it didn't happen and they haven't lived. 

Anyway, although I have my list of favourite cities, there are also some places that I would like to revisit - to learn more about them and to make new memories with people I choose to travel with.

1. Puglia, Italy
- We've just been to Puglia in August last year, however, we feel that we have an unfinished trip in this part of Italy, so we are already planning to go back next year (God-willing). I didn't realise how uniquely beautiful this part of Italy is. There are certainly still a lot of enchanting places to go to further South like the cities of Ostuni, Brindisi and Lecce. 

2. Cinque Terre, Italy
-  I went to Cinque Terre when I had less appreciation for the outdoors. I was reluctant to wear trainers to go hiking and I was not confident to walk on narrow and unpaved trails. I didn't realise that at that time, I was being prepared for the outdoors because a few years later, I would meet a man who loves the outdoors. Then in 2016, I lived in New Zealand where the outdoors is certainly a way of life.  We also have an annual holiday with J's family in the Lake District which involves walking and climbing up high mountains.  I would love to take J to Cinque Terre one day, as he has never been so we can go hiking together.

3. Bologna, Italy
- I only spent a day in Bologna- not enough to actually experience it, but I really loved this city. I would love to go back one day so I can spend more time to explore and learn more about this place. One thing is for sure though, I loved their beautiful historic colonnades.

4.  Santorini, Greece
- I went to Santorini when I was young and foolish and believed that romance is all there is. I would love to go back now that I am more mature and have better perspective on life. When I go back, I am also pretty sure that I will no longer be dragging my suitcase for miles and miles to get to a hotel in the middle of nowhere.

5. Porto, Portugal
-  I was quite tired when I visited Porto and therefore didn't quite enjoy exploring the city. It was also slightly raining and was cold, so I wasn't in the mood to do anything. Porto is very beautiful, with its colourful buildings in the Old Town and white and blue tiled churches. It's not really fair to stay in this city just for one day. It deserves more than that.

6.  Berlin, Germany
-  It was only when I visited Berlin that I gained full understanding of its deep history. The Holocaust Memorial is a beautiful war memorial and everyone should pay respect to the victims of the holocaust when visiting Berlin. Then there's what's left of the Berlin Wall. The Brandenburg Gate is unmissable as it is probably on everyone's list to see in Berlin. A bonus would be a trip to the Panoramapunkt Observation Deck via the fastest elevator in Europe (25 floors in 20 seconds) to get a 360-degrees panoramic view of the city.

7.  Bergamo, Italy
- Believe it or not, but I have been to Bergamo. However, I have not got much recollection of this Italian city as it was one of those side trips that I did a few years ago. This is the reason why I would love to go back one day.

8. Toledo, Spain
- El Greco, the view of Toledo from Mirador del Valle and a pair of pearl earrings are the things that remind me of my trip to Toledo. Only a train ride away, I hope to revisit this place next time I go to Madrid.

9.  Florence, Italy
-  My trip to Florence was part of a cruise that I did sometime in 2009. Although it was quite a good one as I wasn't particularly rushed and was able to see a lot, I would love to go back with J so we can drive around the small towns nearby. 

10.  Krakow, Poland
- My memory of Krakow is walking in deep snow in -20 degree weather. It was very cold and my feet were  frozen I had to go into a museum near Wawel castle to dry them. I would love to see Krakow again, but in spring or summer.

11.  Boston, Massachusetts
- J studied in Massachusetts whilst I've only been to Boston once on a day trip. It would be nice to go back to the city with J. If we ever do, I would prefer to go in the autumn to see the foliage colours. 

12. California, USA
- We have plans to visit California this year God-willing. I have only been to the West Coast once and it would be nice to go back. We are planning to do a road trip from LA to San Francisco. I am crossing my fingers that we are able to go this year, otherwise, whenever the right time comes.

One thing that I learned from my travels is to at least spend two full days in one place no matter how small or uninteresting it may seem. This is the only way I can truly immerse myself in their culture and have a genuine experience. I no longer believe in exhausting "blitz" trips, as I will never know when I can go back to that place again. So, I made a promise to myself to make every trip count and do as much as I can to make each trip as memorable as possible, without having to rush to see as many places as I can. 



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