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There are a whole load of apparently open-ended debates in the ‘travel world’ (is that a thing?!) which seasoned travellers and bloggers alike enjoy weighing in on every now and again. I’m talking your riding on elephants, tourist vs traveller, trains over planes type debates – you know the ones!

As far as I can remember I don’t think I’ve ever gone into any depth on any of them on here. Sure, I’ve glossed over a few, maybe expressed a few opinions here and there in passing, but as a whole I’ve avoided them.

Now I’m coming out from my little hidey-hole to give my two-pence on something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. Probably more than I should actually. I mean, there are way more pressing issues going on the world but I spend a lot of time travelling on buses back and for work, and they very rarely have good phone signal so yeah, lots of thinking time.

A few months ago one of my friends was talking about future travel plans and said something along the lines of “I’ve already done it, so I wouldn’t go back” in reference to a country we’d visited together for all of, I don’t know, a month max.

It niggled me because a) you can’t ‘do’ a country (I hate this phrase and definitely made that known at the time) and b) just because you’ve been there once, why does that mean you don’t need to go back?

I mean, what would happen if my favourite cousin decided to go off and get married on the beach in the Philippines, but I’ve already been there, done that for 3 weeks of my gap year?

If I already said way back when that I’ve already been to the Philippines, I don’t need to go back, I’d either end up being a pretty shitty cousin or a man who does not keep his word.

Obviously that’s all a very hypothetical situation because I’ve never been to the Philippines, didn’t take a gap year and am definitely not a man.

I completely understand the mindset that there are a lot of places you’d have on your list before going back to somewhere you’ve already been, but saying you’ll never go back is going a bit too far, don’t you think?

Saying you’ll never go back somewhere because you’ve already been there is like saying you’ll never eat a raspberry jam donut again because you’ve already tried it once.

You tasted the donut, you liked the donut and so you ate it all up, even going so far as to lick the plate clean afterwards.

Cor blimey, it was a nice raspberry jam donut.

Sure, maybe it didn’t taste particularly spectacular. Maybe it wasn’t worthy of an audience with Mary Berry. Maybe the jam was too sweet and the donut too doughy. And yeah, there sure are a lot of other variations of donuts out there for you to try. But you liked it.

So what if it was ‘just’ a nice donut?!

To be completely honest there are probably a lot of donuts out there with slightly more enthusiastic descriptions than just nice. For example ‘wonderful‘, ‘outstanding‘ or, I don’t know, ‘lip-smackingly good‘.

There are donuts out there worthy of awards, worthy of international and maybe even intergalactic acclaim. There are donuts out there that would make anyone fall of their New Year’s diet bandwagon. So yeah, it’s completely natural to want to go off on a lifetime quest to hunt down the best donut you will ever taste.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a nice, simple raspberry jam donut ever again.

It can be slightly overwhelming sometimes, this race to find the Holy Grail of donuts. All these new tastes, these new smells, they can give you a headache and sometimes, just sometimes, you yearn for something familiar, something safe. You just want a simple but nice raspberry jam donut.

Peru is my raspberry donut. 

When I first visited back in 2011 it was my first solo adventure, my first trip outside of Europe within memory, my first time on a plane alone and my first trip as an adult (if 18 even counts?). There were so many firsts in that trip, everything was brand spanking new and so exciting!

When I went the second time in 2013, honestly? It wasn’t so exciting. But that’s not to say it wasn’t any less enjoyable than the first time around. It was like going back to an old familiar, some might say a nice raspberry jam donut.

The world’s most beautiful raspberry donut

When I went back last year it was exactly the same again. I did many of the same things as the previous occasions, ate a lot of the same foods and even went so far as to stay in some of the same accommodations. It was my third bite of that oh-so familiar raspberry jam donut.

A lot of people don’t see the point in spending hundreds of pounds year in year out to go to the same place and basically repeat the same experiences you always have. Why waste your time? They say. The world is big and there’s a lot more to see out there! 

But you know, the thing about donuts is that sometimes the recipes can change.

Whereas you may originally fall in love with a traditional bog-standard donut filled with nicely smooth raspberry jam, a slight dusting of sugar on the outside, by the following year the manufacturers may have decided to mix things up a bit. The jam has more raspberry, the dough is fresher, they use less artificial stuff, and what was once granulated sugar is now icing sugar.

Better? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s certainly different.

It’s the same with countries, with cities and with towns. To the naked eye they may look the same in pictures, they may seem the same in writing but changes occur each and every day that passes.

Let’s take Nepal as an example.

In 2012 I spent four weeks in Nepal. I did some volunteer work, jumped off a bridge and played with elephants (because duh, elephants). I got to experience the raw beauty of the country, the unwavering friendliness of the people and their insistence that Nepal’s mountains could stamp all over any other country’s pathetic excuse. And let’s be real, they have a point.

I got to see Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) and so many other wonderful sites in and around the country’s capital city. It was a wonderful experience, and despite the whole maybe getting kidnapped think, I had an absolute blast. Much like Peru, Nepal was a nice raspberry donut. 

Now cast your mind back to April 2015.

Gorkha Earthquake devastated the country, killing almost 9000 people and destroying many of the beautiful temples and structures the country is known for.

Kathmandu isn’t the same as it was in 2012.

A lot of the buildings I visited, the temples I prayed at, they’re not the same as they were.

Just like a raspberry donut, the recipe has changed. It’s still there, it still exists, the foundations are the same, but at the same time it’s very much different. And if I were ever to have said “Why would I go back there? I’ve already been there once” and stuck to my word, then I’d potentially miss out on experiencing the collateral beauty of a country rebuilding itself after such devastation. I’d miss out on being able to help and contribute towards the rebuilding of a country that was so kind and welcoming to me.

This is where you’re all sat there scratching your heads and thinking to yourself “but she hasn’t been back since 2012…” and you’re right, I haven’t. But I will. Because, as the title of this post suggest, I will always go back. 

In the same way that you should never disregard the nice countries, the donuts you’ve already tasted, in your hunt for the Holy Grail of all donuts, neither should you forget the ones you perhaps weren’t so keen on.

Custard donuts are not for me.  

There’s something about them that just makes me shudder. I like custard and I love donuts, so in theory combining the two shouldn’t pose any issues for my tastebuds. But it does. I just can’t eat a custard donut, no matter how hard I try. Well, obviously I can eat it because I’m not allergic and have complete control over my jaw and throat, but I can’t finish a custard donut. Because I’m a girl who eats to enjoy, not to stay alive.

Argentina is my custard donut.

I spent a little bit of time there last May. Granted it was nowhere near enough time to provide anyone with a justifiable reason not to visit, but from the whole vibe of the place (we’re talking Buenos Aires here, not the whole country) I didn’t like it.

But that’s not to say I shouldn’t ever go back. 

See, just like there’s a whole bunch of different brands of donuts, there’s about a bazillion different sides to one country. The Argentina I experienced, the one at the onset of Winter with gloomy skies and rainy days, the hustle and bustle in the city kind of Argentina, is a Tesco branded type of custard donut, whereas Argentinian Patagonia in the height of summer could be an absolutely delightful Krispy Kreme custard donut. The kind of custard donut that leaves you wanting more. But I wouldn’t know because I haven’t been there yet. I haven’t tasted that donut.

On paper they’re the same donut, but when you bite into it it’s completely different. It’s deliciously gooey and delightfully crisp at the same time. There’s just a hint of vanilla – not too overpowering but not too subtle either. It’s perfect!

And to think you never would have tasted that donut if you hadn’t looked beyond it’s seemingly boring custard-y definition and given it a go!

There’s one last kind of donut I want to talk about, and this one is different for everyone.

For me it’s blackberry. (Have you ever tried a blackberry jam filled donut? If not you might wanna add it to your bucket list pretty sharpish – it’ll change your life!)

For my stepdad it’s a Krispy Kreme Strawberry Shortcake. He’s a particular kind of fellow.

For my bud Scholesy it’s raspberry – a popular choice, as we’ve already established.

For my sister it’s “chocolate icing with sprinkles” (‘fessed up after at least 2 minutes of “but WHY do you want to know? Why do you care? Are you buying donuts?”)

For my friend G it’s “white chocolate one” but that’s probably a lie because he’s Indian and Indian donuts SHOULD NOT BE EATEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

They’re all different but the one thing they all have in common is we just can’t get enough of them.

I would eat blackberry jam-filled donuts until I was sick. Then I’d take a 2 minute breather and carry on. I’d eat them until they were coming out of my ears. I’d eat them until I became one of them, and would happily live out the rest of my life as one of those perfectly round, jam-filled, doughy balls of goodness.

I would eat blackberry jam-filled donuts until the cows came home. Or sheep, because Wales.

At some point in my donut-eating marathon I’d probably get sick of the taste, but I’d keep on eating them anyway because when it’s your fave you just have to, right?!

India is my blackberry donut. 

I love it. Then I spend too much time there and I get sick of the sight, smell and taste of it. After a 2 minute breather it’s all cool, we’re friends again and the donut-eating can commence. I’ll never get sick of it, but in a different way to a raspberry donut.

A raspberry donut is a mellow, slow and easy kind of eating. A country that, to me, is pleasant and easy. Relaxing, if you will.

A blackberry donut is the I WILL EAT EVERY DAMN DONUT IN THIS PACKET ALL IN ONE GO, BE SICK AND MAYBE KILL A COW IN THE PROCESS kind of eating. A country that hits you full-force like an oncoming steam train carrying one too many nuggets of gold from the mine. The kind of donut (and place!) that you can’t help but love even though it’s way too sour and makes you scrunch up your face like a wailing Mandrake.

Did I write this whole entire post just so I could have an excuse to go out and try every flavour of donut in the name of “research”?


But more importantly, and shoving those donuts aside for a moment, I wrote it to say that yes, the world is big.

Yes, it’s all very exciting and overwhelming and trying to decide where to go next is harder than a 5-year old trying to decide their favourite breakfast cereal.

Yes, sometimes the idea of planning a trip to Burkina Faso is all too alluring because WOW how cool would it be to go to a country most people don’t even know exists?! 

But the lure of Burkina Faso – if such a lure exists – shouldn’t put you off the welcome familiarity of the countries and places you have a proven track record of enjoying.

The point I’m getting at is that yes, there are a lot of donuts out there calling out to be tasted. There are a lot of countries out there with white sands, palm trees and the promise of long, hot days sipping cocktails on the beach. There are mountains to be climbed and caves to explore and crazy looking animals to be petted.

And by all means you should get yourself out there and jump right in!

Go to Burkina Faso, Gabon, Tonga and everywhere else that make people go “Huh? That’s a country?!” when the Olympic flag ceremony starts.

Taste all the donuts you can. Eat as many as you want! Fill your boots!

But don’t forget the donuts you’ve already tried, the ones you love and the ones that have brought you so many moments of donut-filled happiness. Don’t let them fall behind.

Because those donuts bring you happiness, and happiness should never be overlooked. Not for all the fancy-pants cronuts in the world.

So with all that over and done with what’s your favourite donut?!

*Apparently there’s a lot of worldwide controversy about the correct spelling of donut/doughnut. But yeah, both are right so please don’t correct me. And jam = jelly for all you Stateside sunbursts. 


  1. Loved this!!! I see what you mean exactly, why should we stop ourselves from ‘doing something again’ it will NEVER be exactly the same! Also I’m s classic Krispy Kreme glazed ring doughnut girl. Plain, maybe but it’s simple and beautiful

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Honestly, even my local town centre changes every other week! Firm choice there, I have to say that’d probably be my 2nd choice. Or maple syrup glazed Krispy Kreme! Amazing!

  2. I love the doughnut metaphor you’ve used here! My favourite kind of doughnut is the good, old-fashioned strawberry jam doughnut. Though chocolate doughnuts are a fierce contender!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Thanks Alice! You can’t go wrong with strawberry jam! Or anything jam really, jam’s just the best.

  3. Very good point! I also hate when people say I’ve done it! Anyway you can’t see everything at once. But also considering the people you travel with or even the people you meet there would provide a complete different experience. For exemple I was 9 times in Croatia and still get amazed about things I haven’t seen or seen but with another fellow traveller… Though I am also aware about what I don’t want regarding previous experience.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Totally! I didn’t even touch upon it in this post, but you’re right! Who you spend your time with definitely has an effect on your level of enjoyment.

  4. When you mentioned the raspberry doughnut I was thinking Krispy Kreme, I just get a dozen raspberry donuts at a time. I like how you compare it to travel! My raspberry doughnut is Colombia, love it! I don’t mind a custard doughnut, so the one I hate would be a doughnut covered in nuts! I’d put Venezuela as this doughnut. I agree with you on Nepal, this doughnut has changed it’s recipe! As for the blackberry doughnut, I’ve still got to taste it before I can understand!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Okay, so if you’re a fan of Krispy Kreme and in the UK right now apparently there’s an offer until the end of Jan: buy a dozen assorted and get a dozen glazed ring for free. Crazy! Oh Colombia is great! I’d have to say it’s kind of raspberry for me too.. although not as much as Peru, having only been there twice as opposed to Peru’s 3. Ah, I really hope you get your blackberry fix soon! It really is a bloody marvellous literal and figurative donut.

  5. I love your doughnut analogy, but because I’m not a fan of them myself (shock, horror – I KNOW) I’m going to use cake instead. And because I really like chocolate mud cake, I would say Iceland is my mud cake. I’d always wanted to go and I’ve loved it each time I’ve visited (three and counting), despite it getting ever more popular, despite being afraid that I’ll go back, have a terrible time and it will lose its glossy sheen forever. I agree – I hate the phrasing of having “done” a country and when people say it, I want to punch them in the teeth, because I guess I am a violent person.

    As an aside, I never know jelly in the States was jam until a few years ago. I remember being a kid and reading the Babysitters Club and Goosebumps books and thinking “Why are all these crazy Americans putting jelly on their sandwiches? How does it even stay between the bread?” IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. That being said, we Australians put hundreds of thousands on white bread and feed it to kids at parties, so maybe it’s not such a crazy thought.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      I can forgive you for not liking donuts because you like cake. But if you didn’t like either then I’m sorry but you’d be cast out of my virtual life forever! Ah Iceland sounds incredible, I hope when I do eventually get there that it lives up to the very, very high expectations I have of it haha. Oh god yes, we can double team and punch them on both sides of their face.
      Do you call it fairy bread?!?! My aunt is from NZ but lived for a while in Oz before permanently coming here, and my childhood at her house was full of fairy bread!!

      • Yes! That is what it’s called. It makes children go skitzo at all birthday parties, white bread alone is a sugar-laced drug.

  6. A very interesting perspective to label your visited places as donuts! Wait till you visit Indonesia, it may be your curry donut!

  7. Your post made me smile all the way through. Even Laugh out Loud at some points. I love how you describe it as donuts ( <- my spelling and at a Brit it is certainly Jam NOT jelly).
    I am one person who has an issue with going back however I have grown out of this. I have been to India 4 times, Germany 3 times, Kenya 4 times and would not hesitate to go to most of the countries I have visited again.
    Thanks for a great read!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      YES JAM! I had to put that little note at the end only because I once referenced jelly (as we Brits know it) in a completely different post and at the end somebody not British was like “But WHY would you eat jelly with ice cream?” Awfully confusing.
      I’m glad it made you laugh! 😀 To be honest I used to be the same.. but then I went back to Peru a 2nd time..and India a 2nd time.. and now I’m hooked! And thanks to you for reading!

  8. We agree. Actually, we often prefer to visit a place more than once to have a better, richer experience if we can. And we love Boston Creme donuts.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Definitely! Especially if you’re only on a short visit, there’s no way you can really experience everything there is to offer. Just had to google Boston Creme. Thought I didn’t know what it was, but apparently I do! Good choice.

  9. Well, now I want a donut! ASAP! I agree that going back to places you’ve been can be just as great as going somewhere new. We are in Bavaria right now and already planning on coming back in a few months. I just love this particular donut so much. And I’d love to get back to Peru – I am with you on that one!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Haha, let’s pretend I didn’t hotfoot it to the supermarket for my fix straight after I published this…
      As for Bavaria, I’ve only ever been to Munich but just looking at photos online I can totally see why it’s your donut! It’s so gorgeous.

  10. Rhiannon!!! I love you. Esp I love you when you say you could hoard on blackberry donuts and to know that India is your Blackberry Donut!!! I’m from India! Hope you’ll have time to stumble across my blog too, to check out my posts on my country! 🙂

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Aww thanks girl! 😀 I love India, it’s my fave. Although at the same time it makes me sooo angry sometimes haha. I actually spotted a few posts on your home page the other day about Coorg and have been meaning to go back and read them!

  11. Totally get what you mean and I am so far never said “won’t be going back” to any countries that I have visited. Because like what you said, the place may changed over the time. The taste may be different on my next visit and so on. 🙂 Btw, my favourite donut is New Zealand!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Exactly! It’s so silly to strike somewhere off completely because you’ve already been for what’s relatively a short amount of time. Oh, I’m jealous! I’ve never been to NZ but would LOVE to some day! If only for Hobbiton..

  12. I love your comparisons! I have an ongoing issue with deciding whether to go back to places I love or visit new destinations! #firstworldproblems Niagara Falls is my raspberry donut, it was our first stop on our first ever trip too and is familiar to us!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      I know, right?! Having one of the best passports in the world is both a blessing and a curse. Too. Many. Options.

  13. I totally agree with your points! 🙂 For me a travel experience to the same place can also be different by travelling with a different companion and / or meeting different locals. Some people always boast about the number of countries they’ve been to just to show how “seasoned” they are, but how can they be sure that their experience in all those countries is as deep and meaningful as someone else’s?
    I myself have been to 18 countries so far, but still there are places in my own country where I can’t stop going back 🙂 Sometimes people yearn for trips abroad too much that they forget the beauty in their own country.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Exactly! It also differs depending on the season…someone travelling to somewhere in Asia during monsoon season would have a completely different experience to someone travelling during any other time of year!
      Totally agree with you about the “boast” of how many countries too! It’s about quality, not quantity 😉

  14. YESSSS I agree with this on so many levels! I loved the whole donut comparison, and it’s so good to know that other people have the same pet peeve as me when people say they’ve already “done” a country. My favorite donut thus far would have to be Brazil, my chocolate covered donut.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      It’s honestly one of my biggest pet peeves! I just want to punch everybody who says it.

  15. I love this so much hahaha laughed all the way through at the donuts but very very well said ??

  16. That is so cool you did volunteer work in Nepal! Love reading your blog! It’s such an interesting way of labelling the places you have visited as donuts, that is so awesome!! I love donuts! 🙂

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Thanks Brittany! Let’s be real, who doesn’t love donuts? ;D

  17. Hmmm…interesting analogies with donuts. I have always been one to not go back to a place again. Mostly, that is because I have limited time to see the world…so I like to get a flavor of one place and then move on to get a flavor of a new place. But….there is always a but, right? 🙂 I’ve had a chance to visit some places more than once, or three times because of my husband’s business travels. In visiting the same place over and over and over again I have had a chance to dig deeper…to see those sites not highest on the list and in doing so I’ve found some new favorites that I never expected. I call that – my chocolate donut..because chocolate donuts are my FAVORITE!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      I totally get why some people don’t go back if they can help it…but if the opportunity arises? Why the devil not?! 😀

  18. My favourite country is Peru and I am here now on my 4th visit. Some countries you fall in love with, some you don’t!!! For me Malyasia & Egypt are countries I love, but not countries I would ever be in a hurry to visit again!! I love to experience new countries but if I love a country and have an excuse to revisit then the fact I have been before won’t stop me!!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Definitely! And so jealous of you being in Peru for the 4th time! I’ve visited 3 times and I always get such green-eyed rage when I see someone else is there haha.

  19. I agree! It’s totally okay to go back and revisit countries you loved (and you don’t) as things may not already be the same the first time you visit them. And we as travelers, also change, so our perception of something may not be the same as before. 🙂

    Great examples, by the way!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Thanks! It’s like going to your favourite restaurant…why would you ever stop?

  20. Going back to a country I visited wouldn’t be my first choice but I would go back if it were for a special occasion (did that twice for Italy). You can spend a lifetime in certain countries and never visit it fully so I rather spend my lifetime visiting several different countries. 🙂

    • rhiydwi Reply

      But you have the right kind of attitude in that you wouldn’t completely strike it off just because you’ve already been. As in, if the opportunity arises you’d totally take it! A lot of people don’t, and will categorically refuse to go back if they can help it. That’s something I just don’t understand!

  21. First of all, I love the donut metaphor! I totally agree with you about, well, everything written in the post. And to ‘do’ a country and the “been there, done that” attitude is something I find kinda cringeworthy, to be honest. When I was in Moldova and in Morocco, locals told me I should come back and bring my partner or my family. Imagine if I had said “sorry, already been here now so I can’t come back!”. They would look at me as if I was insane – or plain rude and not interested in staying in touch with them.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Oh my gosh, yes! It’s like, you make friends with a local and then on your last day be all like “Bye, I had a great time but nah, I’m never going to see you again because why would I? Already seen you, seen your country, that’s it, bye!”

  22. Loved the donut comparison…its is such a creative post! I loved reading about my country, India. Yeah…I want to go to Burkina Faso, just because I find the name so interesting 🙂

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Thanks! 😀 Oh, I don’t blame you! I really want to go to Togo and Tonga just because the names sound fantastic.

  23. I don’t know if there are enough donuts in a Krispy Kreme box for all the countries I love. And every single one I love for different reasons. I would go back to almost every single one of them (hey, I’ve been 9 times to Rome!). I just returned from South America, for my second time. This time I just had a layover in Lima and as soon as I stepped into the airport I remembered how much I missed Peru.

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Isn’t Peru just the best?! There’s something about it that just makes me smile! As for the Krispy Kreme box, don’t worry. You can branch out into Dunkin’ Donuts too, and all the rest..

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Exactly! Another thing that changes is the weather…which, let’s be real, can make or break your trip.

  24. That is quite interesting. I was considering the fact that when we hear a ‘good’ song we continually play it. But, then I realise that when something new comes it can many times be replaced like a sequel to a movie – many don’t watch a movie twice even though the experience is different every time hmmmmm… (really intrigued because I am having that dilemma now as part of my degree requires a year of work and I felt like it has to be a place I haven’t ‘done’)

  25. Jenni Petrey Reply

    Completely agree with you. It frustrates me when people say “oh I’ve been there, don’t need to go back.” There are loads of places that I’d love to go back to for a visit. There is always something to discover.

  26. I totally get this. I’m always torn between wanting to go back somewhere I love (hello Iceland) over and over but also not wanting to try and repeat experiences, because it’s not likely to be the same again and maybe my expectations will let me down. After my most recent trip which was a bit of a letdown to say the least, I’ve concluded that this year I’m not going to focus so much on going to new places and instead just go where we want even if that’s revisiting somewhere.

    Amy –

  27. Ha! Love it. :)) I’m actually not a doughnut fan, but your post is making me rethink that. I totally concur…sometimes I feel like the “country count” feels more like a contest than a pursuance of real experiences.

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