If I had to give only one tip related to travel, I’d say always leave reasons to revisit your destination.
It’s the most common excuse how I comfort myself after realising I’ve just missed something stunning. An exciting place that someone told me about after returning home or a landscape spotted in a photo after the trip. A photo of a landscape literally taking your breath away.
At the same time, it’s a real reason to revisit the destination. An opportunity to get acquainted with the place a bit deeper, finding the reality hiding behind the Insta-famous glitter and traditional tourist attractions decorating the covers of every single guidebook.
An opportunity to hear the stories behind the ancient rocks, feel the smell of the wind and nuances of colours, sense how they change as the seasons go by.
It’s the difference between collecting countries or destinations and collecting experiences. Stepping over the border of a country or a town doesn’t yet mean you’ve truly experienced the place.
Always leave reasons to revisit—and then, do revisit. For real.
This is what my September is made of.
In January I was convinced I had found a wonderland that only exists in fairy tales and children’s books, not in real world. When I was staring at Pravčická Brána, the largest natural stone arch in Europe in Bohemian Switzerland National Park of the Czech Republic, I believed I had found a gate to another universe.
A place that magical couldn’t exist if it didn’t hide a touch of real magic.
Last week, when I was getting on a plane to the Czech Republic for the second time this year, I had no idea what kind of natural wonders would be waiting for me in the North-East part of the country. Neither had I guessed I would accidentally hike to the border of Czech and Poland in 1400 meters above sea level.
There’s no room for guessing why the Czech mountains have been inspiring writers, painters and poets throughout the times.
A week has passed by since I returned from the Czech Republic, but I still can’t form full sentences about everything I saw and experienced on the rocky hiking trails of the Czech mountains. Neither have I been able to choose a few best shots out of hundreds and hundreds of photos that would best support those unformed sentences. I’d love to show you them all.
Most important, neither would I doubt one second to step on a plane to the Czech Republic for the third time this year.
But the Czech Republic wasn’t the only destination I’ve revisited during the sweet September. The bright colours of autumn foliage still flashing in my eyes and the cheerful jingle of the reindeer bell echoing in my ears, I’ve just returned from the hiking trails of Aavasaksa, the oldest travel destination in Finnish Lapland.
In two days we climbed six high hills to testify all the beauty and tranquillity Aavasaksa would have to offer if the municipality behind the destination would care enough to maintain the trails. Nature tourists would flow to Aavasaksa if they could, but unfortunately, I had to prove with my own eyes and feet the disappointing state of the trails.
And yet, the views were totally worth all the effort.
In two days I managed to experience a piece of what I missed completely during my quick visit in Aavasaksa last year. The 50 km long network of trails covers seven high hills, or fells, in total. Out of them we climbed six and walked along the trails for 40 kilometres, even the most difficult ones.
As we know, things happen in threes. So I revisited yet another destination.
Perhaps you still remember how sad I felt after missing the caves during my rocky adventure in Luppioberget fell in Sweden last year? On the way home from Aavasaksa, we paid a quick visit to Sweden just to see the caves. After all, they’ve located only a 15-minute drive away from Aavasaksa.
I’m convinced the bright nuances of autumn colours would have been worth photographing from the top of Luppioberget, but after hiking for 40 kilometres and having a long 10-hour drive ahead of us, we skipped climbing another fell.
But there’s no reason to worry or feel sad about it. Because you should always leave reasons to revisit.