Is it ever as good as the first time?

30/10/2018 Off By Deborah Welsh

Should you go somewhere new on every trip or should you stick to what you know?

As you all know by now, I love going on holiday and I get a real thrill from seeing new places and experiencing new cultures. It’s something that makes me who I am today, something that makes me feel alive and it’s also the reason I have a respectable knowledge of holiday planning and overseas travel. However, one thing that I am often asked is “why do you go to the same places so often? Don’t you get bored?” The answer is this; no, I don’t.

Cape Cod

Sure, I’ve gone back to places twice – sometimes several times but in general, I try and stay at either a different resort or town or at the very least a different hotel or apartment and I can honestly say that when I have gone back to a place I’ve enjoyed, there has always been different experiences and something new to discover every time. I suppose that comes from visiting the places I do, like France, Italy or the USA…you could go back every year and still not see and do everything that’s there or cover every nook and cranny of such large and varied countries. In each of these places, you can go from snow to sunshine in a matter of hours depending on the time of year!

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Italy is a prime example of my ‘going back again’ habit. I first came to bella Italia in 1985 and have been visiting every other year or so in some capacity to different towns and regions so even though I’m going to the same country, I’m seeing a new spot each time I’ve been. And more often than not there’s usually a bit of time has lapsed between visits.
This year for the first time, I am going back to the same accommodation I stayed in a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with it and felt so happy there that I knew I had to come back – ok, I’ve left two years between visits but it’s still very fresh in my memory and I must admit that I am feeling slightly nervous that it might not live up to my expectations or will it feel like the first time again? I’ll have to report back to you later on when I get back!
What I can’t really get my head around though is people who simply go to the same resort, the same hotel, sometimes even the same room, year after year and have been going for like, 20 odd years. Each to their own I suppose but there’s a whole big world out there and in my opinion, this type of holiday habit is limiting people’s life experiences and their chances to see so much more. Although I suppose you could argue that there’s a benefit to knowing what you’re going to and being able to just get into your holiday stride the minute you get dropped off in a taxi. It probably just feels like being at home but with better weather.

Marbella, Spain

Another country that I have visited regularly and sometimes on consecutive years is Spain. I’ve been lucky enough to see a huge chunk of Andalucía and the southern coast and yes, one time I went back to the same spot, and even the same hotel. I’d had an amazing holiday the year before and had been super impressed by the hotel and all it had to offer. So much so that we spent a fair bit of time in it which is unusual for me as I like to get out and about. When it came to booking the following year’s two-week escape, I had no hesitation in booking up for a second time. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a mistake but it definitely wasn’t as good the second time around. Our rooms were in a totally different part of the building which gave us a very different view and a lack of sunshine on the terrace changed the whole vibe of the holiday. The year before we had sat out having coffee in the early morning, easing our way into the day and then when we got back to the room later, there was still dying embers of a blazing sunset to enjoy as night fell over a glorious sea view. This time around we looked onto a wall, some bins and a small car park. Isn’t it funny how the little things matter but on that first trip, we hadn’t realised that what had made the hotel so special was the sun-soaked balcony overlooking the sea. We had assumed most the rooms had this and kind of took it for granted that when we came back we would be enjoying that same view every morning when we woke up and every night before we went to bed. Of course, you don’t go on holiday to sit on a balcony off your room all day but the setting had been what made us so happy and relaxed at this hotel the first time around and we just weren’t feeling it on our repeat visit. Needless to say, we’ve not gone back there again.

There’s also been occasions when I have been on a holiday or trip and I have known instantly that this would be the first and last time that I would be in this place and grateful as I was to see it and experience it. I knew I would never be back.
I’d never dream of forcing my opinions on to anyone so I won’t reveal the names of these places nor would I want to put anyone off seeing them for themselves. That’s the thing about holiday destinations, it’s so subjective. One man’s meat and all that…

Annecy River in France with Buildings

Annecy, France Image by 12019 on Pixabay

I do love when I visit somewhere though and lightning strikes, you instantly fall in love and you know in your heart that you want to come back again, even before you’ve unpacked your suitcase. You’ve not even had your first cocktail and you’re already dreading coming home. If you’ve read any of my other articles in here, you’ll know this has happened to me with two countries. Italy and France.

Read more here:
For the Love Of France

Clearwater, Florida

It’s hard to describe but sometimes a place genuinely does capture your heart and you cannot help yourself but go back again. It becomes an addiction, an obsession and now that you’ve had a taste of it, you simply want more. Although with some of these places that I have loved so much, I doubt I’d be able to go back to if anything ever happened to people I love that have been with me on these trips. The pain of being there without them would be just too much to bear, having made so many precious memories with them in that place. That will be a tough one when that day comes.


So, to sum up, there’s no set rules about how you choose your holiday or why. Go with what YOU want to do and go to places that make you feel happy. It doesn’t matter whether you go twice, three times or 50 times. Holidays are what makes working so hard the other 50 weeks of the year worth the effort and if you can manage to squeeze in a few cheeky trips in between then maybe you can use these to see other places and keep your special place for the main event.

Look out for my next article in July when I will tell you how this return trip turns out.