7 Countries I’m Desperate to Revisit

Tulum Ruins, Countries to Revisit

As my list of countries I’ve visited continues to grow, I find myself thinking where’s next. To be honest, I’m often thinking that. I’ve realised that the number of European countries I’ve not yet been to is shrinking and this means it may be time to return to some countries I’ve already been to. While I generally want to return to every country I’ve been to, there are some in particular that I am keen to revisit. In a way, this is just the top of my very, very long list.

I’ve previously talked about places that I feel deserve a second chance, but that was more about destinations I wanted to redeem in my eyes. This is not that; this is about countries that I’m excited to see more of. Whether it be because I didn’t spend enough time there, because I didn’t know how much it had to offer or just because I loved being there, these are 7 countries I’d love to revisit.

 

Finland

Husky Sledding in Lapland

For my big visit to Northern Europe (not Scandinavia, because that technically doesn’t include Finland or Iceland) in 2014, Finland was not my priority. My main focus on that trip was to see Norway, Sweden and Iceland, but I had managed to squeeze a few days of Finland into my itinerary. This was really just to get a taste so to speak and also because it seemed to be a convenient spot to continue on from into Swedish Lapland. During my time there, I got to spend a few days in Helsinki and the northern town of Rovaniemi.

I came away from my short time in Finland with some great memories. From exploring the unusual architecture of Helsinki, to eating moose and reindeer, husky sledding through Finnish Lapland and seeing the Northern Lights for the first time; I had a blast. And yet, I feel like there’s so much of the country I didn’t see. There’s the regional cities like Turku and Vaasa, the country’s thousands of inland lakes, plus all the northern reaches of Finnish Lapland inhabited by the native Sami people. I’ve seen too little of Finland and would love to rectify that.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fairytale town of Jajce

Part of the joy of visiting countries that seem less travelled is that you often come to learn that they have so much more to them than you realised. I think my visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first time that I fully realised this. When travelling through the Balkans in June last year, I had been most excited about seeing Montenegro and Dubrovnik. Bosnia and Herzegovina seemed like a convenient place to start my trip but I didn’t really know what there was to see beyond Sarajevo and Mostar. So I did a little research and tacked a week in Bosnia and Herzegovina onto my Balkan trip. Seeing a trend yet?

It wasn’t until I left Sarajevo, heading for the small town of Jajce that I soon began to appreciate how much there was to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even on my bus ride, I passed several places that caught my attention like the town of Travnik and began making mental notes on places for next time. This happened again in Mostar when I started researching day trip options and while I only visited Blagaj, I found at least 3 other places that intrigued me. My visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina showed me that the country has a surprising depth to it, with plenty of smaller destinations that I’m keen to revisit.

 

Colombia

Sheltered beach of La Piscina

There are always certain countries that feel like they’re about to be the next big thing. Colombia definitely seems to be going that way. As an emerging destination, I’ve been a little surprised at how much attention this South American country has been garnering, but I really shouldn’t have. Colombia’s biggest detractor for years has been safety concerns and that appears to be fading into the history books. I know I felt far safer than I had anticipated during my visit in March of 2015.

It seems like the floodgates are bound to open in the coming years, with an ever-increasing surge of backpackers and more visiting this gorgeous country. People often talk about going places before “they change” and I feel a little this way about Colombia. I only saw a snippet of the country but was fascinated by its history, its culture and its people. I particularly enjoyed the fact that we were regularly meeting domestic tourists rather than foreign ones. This is one country I hope to revisit before it’s too late.

 

Iceland

Ice Lagoon

I’m pretty happy in saying that Iceland is my favourite country I’ve been to so far. I think it is the most awe-inspiring, otherworldly place I’ve had the good fortune of visiting. So why wouldn’t I want to revisit it? As my last stop on my trip through Northern Europe, it was the place I was the most excited about visiting at the time. That it ended up exceeding my expectations was just fantastic.

During my time in Iceland, I was able to see Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, the South Coast and the Snaefellsness Peninsula. And yet, there’s heaps to still see from the North and East coasts to the West Fjords. There were also parts of the country that were closed due to the time of year, such as Landmannalaugar which is meant to be quite a special place to hike. Unfortunately, what it comes down to with Iceland is money, as it is an expensive country to visit.

 

Mexico

Ikil Cenote, Countries to Revisit

My time in Mexico was all too short. As my first stop in the Americas, I spent far too much time there transiting to other places, like Cuba and Belize. To be fair, they were two of the places I was most excited to see, but my stay in Mexico was shorter than I would have liked. I did manage to see quite a bit in the 4-odd days I spent there. Most of my exploring was limited to the Mayan Riviera – Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Beyond the beaches, I was also able to head in land to Chichen Itza, the wonderful Cenote Ik Kil and the town of Valladolid.

But again, I know there is so much of Mexico I managed to miss. While in Mexico, people recommended the city of Merida, just on the other side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Just recently, Merida was named number 4 on Lonely Planet’s Top Cities for 2017. Beyond that, most of the country is a mystery to me, from the nation’s capital in Mexico City, to the pacific coastal spots of Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta. I do hope I get a chance to head back to Mexico and properly find what the country has to offer.

 

Malaysia

Batu Caves, Countries to Revisit

In a sense, I don’t feel like I’ve really seen Malaysia. I’m of the opinion that it takes more than a couple of days to get a grasp on a place and begin to appreciate it. My 36 hours spent in Kuala Lumpur back in 2012 doesn’t seem to qualify. The visit was mostly a stopover on the way to Thailand and my first overseas travel in almost a decade. Even with the limited time, I was able to see enough sights like the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves to know I wanted to spend some more time in Malaysia.

More recently, my interest in Malaysia has been renewed through reading a number of blogs and the realisation of all the things the country has to offer. Malaysia seems to be generally overshadowed by neighbours like Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. However, I have come across quite a few blogs of late that have piqued my interest. From the incredible marine life found near Sipadan, to intriguing street art on the streets of Penang and countless other posts, I’ve been reminded that I know very little about this country and would like to revisit to fix that. When I go back, I really need to take a better camera too.

 

Spain

Alcazar of Cordoba

It may seem silly, but I wasn’t expecting to love Spain as much as I did when I visited last year. I mean, it’s not like Spain is some sort of great secret. The land of tapas, flamenco and bull fighting is pretty much on every traveller’s radar. As it should be. I just didn’t realise how diverse the country was, historically, culturally and geographically. These are just some of the reasons that the country became one of my favourites visited in 2015.

Now, I bounced around quite a bit in Spain last year. I spent a brief amount of time in Madrid, a little more in Barcelona, over a week exploring the city of Vigo in Galicia and several weeks falling in love with Andalusia. And still, there is so much of the country I’ve yet to see. Spain is the kind of country where I’d happily move through each village and town, just soaking in everything I could. I mean, I know there’s plenty of Madrid and Barcelona I failed to see, so Spain is definitely high on my list of countries to revisit.

 


What countries have you been to and can’t wait to revisit? What about them makes you want to go back? Please share in the comments below.

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7 Countries I'm Desperate to Revisit, via @travelsewhere

 


This post is part of Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner and Wanderful Wednesday at SnowinTromso. Please head on over for more great posts.

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29 Comment

  1. Nanouk says:

    You’ve been to really beautiful places already!! I’ve been to Costa Rica and definitely want to go back some day. Spain is also on our return list, such a lovely country!

    1. David says:

      Thank you Nanouk, Costa Rica is another place that I’d like to go back to. Who doesn’t love Spain!

  2. neni says:

    I´m totally with you. I´ve been quite some time to Finland and I´m desperate to go back. Same with Malaysia, which I´m revisiting next February 🙂

  3. You’ve made it to some great places. I’ve only been able to make it to a few of these places (Spain and Mexico) and would gladly return to either in a heartbeat. As for the others on your list, I would like to visit them too! So many great places out there!

  4. I felt the same way about Bosnia after visiting Mostar and remember seeing lots of signs along the road showing other interesting places not far away. So I would love to visit more especially since that stigma was broken after our first visit that “its not safe there”. We ended up loving it wayyy more than we expected! #WanderfulWednesday

    1. David says:

      I’ve heard the stigma a few times now about Bosnia Herzegovina, but I’ve never really understood it. It doesn’t seem to apply to Serbia or Croatia, dunno. Glad you enjoyed visiting there too Lorelei.

      1. Well we had never done research before about Bosnia and the night before we went we decided to spontaneously go as we were driving from Split to Dubrovnik. All the research we had found indicated it was safe but chance of still finding bombs and to stay in main roads. But we didn’t have any problems and was better than any website I found

        1. David says:

          Ah ok. I had read about sticking to hiking trails because of unexploded bombs/mines as well but didn’t seem to be as big of a concern. Glad it exceeded your expectations 🙂

  5. Tanja says:

    I’ve only been to Spain from your list:) I’d love to revisit Norway and Portugal for example:)

    1. David says:

      Ooh good picks Tanja, I’d be happy to return to Norway and Portugal too. They would be on the list too if I hadn’t spent as much time there as I did.

      1. Tanja says:

        I’d love to see the fjords (I’ve only been to Oslo) and to visit Porto and many other places in Portugal. I’ve been to Lisbon and Evora and Sintra

  6. Urska - Slovenian Girl Abroad says:

    I couldn’t agree more about your reasons to revisit Iceland. It is indeed otherworldly place. I would love to go back too!
    Also, it is always nice to (re)visit Spain. 🙂
    #WanderfulWednesday

    1. David says:

      Thanks Urska, glad you feel the same about Iceland and Spain. Always happy to return to Slovenia too 😉

  7. Isabel says:

    You and I have a lot in common. I would return to Spain, Bosnia and Mexico in a heart beat as well!

  8. vanbrune says:

    I definitely need to return to Iceland and explore the countryside. I mean, Reykjavik is pretty but I don’t feel like I really experienced the country itself as the capital is quite touristy and dare I say, American 😉 Really want to visit Finland too. Can you believe that I live an hour from the border and still haven’t been? Such a shame! Though one thing, I think you mean Sami instead of Suomi when you speak of Lapland natives? 😉

    1. David says:

      Ooh, thanks for the correction Vanessa! I must have got the two words mixed up. I’d recommend visiting Finland if you get the chance, just to see the small differences. I didn’t mind Reykjavik being a little touristy, but yes the countryside is where its at.

  9. Lauren says:

    This is such a great list! I just visited Colombia in September and I already want to go back. I also think Colombia is already the “big thing” as I met a TON of travelers and backpackers there and have talked to so many others eager to go! I also agree about Spain! I lived there for close to 2 years and still feel like I haven’t uncovered all Spain’s secrets! Hope youcan get back to these places soon!

    1. David says:

      Thanks Lauren, you’ve been to Colombia more recently than me so I trust that it’s continuing to grow in popularity. Living in Spain would be amazing, but I can understand you not having covered the country in full. Hope you get to return to both too!

  10. Allison says:

    My favorite country in the world is Ecuador. It was my first international trip. I loved it because I went as a volunteer and spent three months working among the people. We are hopefully going back sometime in 2018 and I already can’t wait. I really wish I was able to go to Colombia when I was down there but there was never an opportunity.

  11. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad says:

    I’m keen to go back to Hungary, I absolutely loved Budapest and really want to see a bit more of the country. I’d like to go back to Turkey, to Thailand, and Spain too. I’d love to visit some of the countries on your list for the first time! I’m actually considering visiting Malaysia next year so I’m following those links for tips, thanks!

  12. I loved Spain too! Itching to go back as well. We only saw Barcelona and Madrid (now twice!) but I want to hit southern Spain. And you should definitely check out Mexico City – it’s amazing! Great list. Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #WeekendWanderlust

  13. I’m always up for revisiting places as I always think that no trip is ever the same as the last one. I totally agree with you on Colombia! I went at the beginning of this year and I would love to go again and see more of the beautiful country that it is.

  14. I try to avoid returning to places i have been but its impossible when there are so many countries that I have fallen in love with!
    My returners are – Norway, Bosnia, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and Croatia – some of these I have returned to already and I could keep returning!

    Iceland is a destination I am so looking forward to visiting- I just wish it was a cheaper option!

    Oh and South Africa is a must! I grew up there and it is one country that visitors tell me – often – that it deserves a lot of visits!

  15. There are many countries on your list I’d like to visit. I’m drawn to colder climate countries so Iceland and Finland are near the top, and of course, I like reindeer sausage, but I haven’t really found a moose dish I liked yet.

  16. Kreete says:

    Ahh Spain.. This is where I left my heart when I lived there for 18 months back in 2011. Been back a few times and planning to buy a house there. Just can’t get enough of it. Been to Finland several times, but being from Estonia, it’s only natural to go for a little shopping in IKEA and H&M once a year haha! I am taking my partner back there to see Lapland next x-mas and I am already super exited! Some of the other places you have been, I havent made it to yet, but hoping to some day! Thanks for sharing!

  17. I have a love affair with Norway. I would happily go back there every year if I could! That’s partly due to my heritage though, my grandfather was from Bergen so I have family there. But I would revisit again and again and again if I could! Finland looks amazing – must add that to my next Norway trip!

  18. Ideally, we’d love to work our way around the world one village at a time! Like you, some places strike a chord in us and they circle back onto our To Do list. Sometimes more than once or twice. We used to feel bad leaving someplace with sights unseen, but now we look forward to finding those places we can’t wait to see more of!

  19. Jill says:

    Scotland – I’ve been twice and still haven’t seen the Highlands.I just can’t get enough of it. And France – I’ve only been to a few areas. That’s the problem, isn’t it? So many new places to see but then there are those to go to again. My list is agonizingly long!

  20. Julie Cao says:

    I always wanted to visit Colombia, and I heard many times that Colombia is one of backpackers’ favorite countries in South America. I had the same thing with Mexico, I stayed there for two weeks, was in Mexico City for a week, but I want to return and visit other parts too, especially Guadalajara. Hope you get to visit Mexico soon in the future. It is really a fantastic place with great people, great music and delicious local cuisine.

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