I’m sure you did not know that TPOL is a movie critic. Last year, I predicted all the major Academy Award winners. I typically do not write about movies because it has nothing to do with travel. In this case, it is relevant. The original Coming to America is my favorite movie, and I reference it as frequently as I reference Seinfeld. In the post, Since I cannot personally go to SE Asia with Mikey and show him the ladyboy bars in Bangkok… I wrote, “Remember when you saw Coming to America the first time or tried princess chicken for the first time at Empress of China when you visited Flint, Michigan? That and experiencing other firsts is why I continue to travel and seek new adventures in new places. While I love going back to a country that I have visited before, nothing compares to the first time in a new city.”
A movie sequel rarely lives up to the original. Here, I knew the movie would be awful when the rating was only PG-13. Ten minutes in, I turned it off, refusing to let it contaminate my child memories of Akeem. The same can be said about traveling back to the same city. The saddest thing is when a city that I love doesn’t deliver the magic of years past, leaving me to wonder if I actually enjoyed it then as much as I thought I did (see New Years 2016! My Last Binge in Bangkok). Sometimes it is better to cherish the perfect memory of a destination instead of tempting fate and returning. This is why I have yet to return to one of the most beautiful places in the world, Seychelles. When I went in 2013, I saw nothing but sun and pristine beaches (see Round the World Dividends From the Geographically Challenged). I would hate to go back and be disappointed by swaths of tourists and storm clouds.
That is not to say that there aren’t certain places that I enjoy the more I go. Cape Town and New Orleans come to mind. Indeed, there are places I hated the first time and only enjoyed them the second time around (reference Bangkok again). However, like Coming to America, there are places that should be one and done because a masterpiece does not need a sequel.