There was a time when I used to think that the world was far too big, and our time on this earth far too short, to visit any destination twice. But having done it a few times now, I think it can sometimes be the best part of travel.
The second time around you get to travel deeper. See the bits you might have missed first time around. Take it slow and let it all sink in.
You don’t really need to do much research because you know what you’re in for, and you can relax a little on the ticking-off-the-tourist-attractions front and spend your time simply being in the destination.
And so, when an assignment came up to travel along the Mekong from Cambodia to Vietnam on a luxury Pandaw cruise ship with Wendy Wu Tours, even though I’d done exactly this journey two years ago I jumped at the chance.
As we cycled through buzzing street markets on balmy afternoons, explored local villages flanked by lush palm forests, visited tiny weaving villages where we learnt about the often deeply saddening history of the country, and sat on the deck of our teak ship letting river life drift slowly by, I had moments of blissful recognition – and others of complete surprise.
I’ll be covering most of what I saw in upcoming stories to be published over the summer (I’ll keep you guys posted about those), but in the meantime here’s a short video to give you a little peek into the highlights of my time on the Mekong.
** SPOILER ALERT if you watch all the way to the end, you’ll get to see me very hungover on the last day of the cruise. Note to self: beware the liberal vodka pouring in Vietnam!