Exploring the world, seeing beautiful places, learning from other cultures is my number 1 joy in life. My focus has been far away dream destinations, but recently I realised how little I know about or have seen on my doorstep here in the UK. Not everyone can travel extensively all the time, but we can all explore closer to home and I haven’t been making the most of this. Its time for some life changes!
I can tell you quite a lot about South America. Its history, languages, un-missable places to see and weird foods to try if you’re lucky enough to visit one day. I could give you some pretty sound suggestions for how to safely navigate the bus system in Central America. I’ve got ‘tails’ of road trips in New Zealand. And I could give you a list of some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam.
And yet, if you’re visiting the UK and want some advice? I’ve got nothing!
Well, that’s not entirely true – I’m OK on London. I’ve lived there for a good while and done my best to frequent as many areas as possible. But, my round the world trip and adventures that followed have shown me time and time again that I am a nature girl. I love nothing more than to be outside, gazing endlessly at trees, wildlife and fabulous views.
The UK has a lot of this to offer and I’ve barely scratched the surface in 35 years.
I became more aware of this deficit of experience when travelling long term. I met people from around the world who proudly recommended top places for me to see closer to their homes. It seemed important to suggest not to just visit London if they come to the UK, as we have so much more. But there my sentence ended…
New traveller friend: “I’d love to visit the UK. London is a top city on my list”
Me: “Yes do – but there is so much more to see. Scotland is beautiful, it can rival New Zealand for views!”
New traveller friend: “Oh great – I’d love to visit. Where should I see?”
Me: “Ummm… you know – the highlands, I guess, I’ve not really seen… so… tell me more about where you’re from”
…was roughly how it went. Pretty lame really.
I need to make some changes
Without meaning to sound like a broken record – travel can change your life. It has changed me for the better, and it is time I create a life for myself that compliments the person I have become. Allowing more time for wandering, exploring and seeing as much as I can in the time I have!
When I returned from my round the world adventure, I wanted to go straight back abroad. I completed the CELTA and made plans to move to South Korea. But circumstances have kept me here and I am going to make the most of every minute.
After 12 years in London, I have made a big move to Chester in the North-West of England. It’s an ideal place to start the exploration of my home country. A beautiful city with a history of it’s own, surrounded by places of outstanding natural beauty in every direction. Not to mention 2 of the UK’s biggest and most exciting cities about an hour away.
I can have the same kind of travel experiences closer to home
I’m so excited to apply my independent budget travel skills in the same way here as I do abroad. Obviously I’m still going to be researching, planning and going to places further afield too because I’m a travel obsessed maniac with an ambition to see at least one new country every year and preferably all of them at some point in my life… BUT you can also expect lots more ‘tails’ of UK based adventures from now on.
Here’s a snippet of what I’ve seen so far to show you why I would leave London for such a place…
Do you travel closer to home? How do you make the most of what is on your doorstep?
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