The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Scratch Off Map

The One Travel Resolution You Should Never Make

For the longest time, I had a firm travel resolution: I would visit at least one new country every year as part of my never-ending quest to see the world. This year, I threw that resolution out the window and had a much richer 2016 because of it.

I’m extremely fortunate (thanks to my career as a travel writer) that I have the opportunity to travel multiple times each year. But I would still hesitate whenever I contemplated a trip to a country I’d previously visited. I’d already gotten the passport stamp and checked it off my travel list—did I really need to see the same place again?

The answer, I found out this year, is “yes.”

I was lucky enough to be able to return to two countries that I’d visited ages ago: New Zealand and Italy. I’d loved both destinations so much that a part of me was afraid of being disappointed upon going back. Neither country is exactly close to home, either—it’s a lot of work to revisit these countries.

What I neglected to consider, though, is that returning to a country for a repeat visit is an opportunity to slow down and stop thinking that this could be your only chance to see the country. On my repeat trips, I didn’t feel compelled to try to pack an entire country into a two week visit. I didn’t skip out on smaller and more intimate experiences out of fear that I’d miss some of the top attractions if I did so. Instead, I took my time and fully explored each place I visited rather than rushing off to a new one every day.

On both of my repeat trips, I revisited some of the same places I’d previously explored, but I also ventured into totally new places as well. Getting to parts of the countries that I missed the first time opened up a whole new side of each destination. It would have been a shame to think that I’d really experienced Italy just because I’d been to Rome. I’m already planning another trip to see the parts of the lake region that I just couldn’t fit in this time.

So for 2017, I’m not making a resolution to check off any new countries. Instead, I’m simply resolving to say yes to as many opportunities as I can. Or put another way: I’m going to stop focusing on passport stamps and instead focus on making new memories.

Will you do the same?


More from SmarterTravel:

 Caroline is already planning to revisit some of her favorite countries in 2017. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline and on Twitter @CarolineMorse1 for photos and inspiration.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From