How to fall in love with travelling (when you're a bit of a home bird)
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Travel has always been something I am incredibly naive about; we rarely travelled beyond the boundaries of the UK as children and even as a young adult, my visits abroad can easily be tallied up on one hand. From a brief visit to Paris, to Tenerife, to Spain, to Corfu, to spending all day every day in a hotel, by the poolside, rarely straying beyond our foreign bedsit, I've never felt that any holiday has been particularly worthwhile. There's always been a part of me that is so ready for adventure, so desperate to love another country, so eager to see what the fuss is all about, but still I've never ventured anywhere that has managed to break the invisible rope heavily pulling me towards home.
Once I met my other half, I realised there was more to the world than simply visiting another country to spend a week away stuck in one single spot. He told me about his travels to Thailand, how as a young man he'd dropped everything and jumped on a plane with a friend to spend a year on the island. I was enthralled by the thought of really seeing somewhere for the beauty it was in the everyday, not simply for it's hot spots and tourist destinations. I researched other beautiful places in the world I knew nothing about, from the majestic hotels of Lisbon to a Bali villa rental I could happily see us relaxing after dark before soaking up the Indonesian culture with each new day.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realise that it wasn't the destinations themselves that were the problem, but the way in which I viewed a holiday abroad at all. It was ingrained in my mind that spending the entirety of every visit glued to the beach or pool, filling in drab sudokus after mind-numbing crosswords in the sun and racing through umpteen different romance novels each day was simply something I didn't enjoy and I couldn't understand why exactly I didn't enjoy it, I just knew that I didn't. Why did I feel as if I had to conform to the generic holiday-goer? There was a way I could luxuriate in seeing the world, but this just wasn't it.
I finally realised there was a way to fuel my wanderlust that meant being able to spend time in beautiful accommodation, but also exploring cities and landmarks that we otherwise wouldn't get the chance to. Now I have a family of my own, two young children who are unable to remain in one place for longer than 5 minutes, the idea of a different kind of holiday appeals to me even more. I want to see the world through their eyes, to watch them uncover something entirely different to the only country they've ever known, to learn and grow in the knowledge of other cultures in the world, to discover an adventure of their own.
I want to travel with them; from discovering the beautiful cuisine of Bali, to the incredible architecture of Lisbon. I want to explore the lands of Italy, the museums of France, to expand my own limited knowledge of the world whilst watching them grow theirs. So, what better way is there than writing a little wish-list of places I'd love for us to attempt to visit in their childhood, in the hopes that at some point we'll be lucky enough to do so.
There's something about visiting an island that screams perfect getaway, and as Bali was named the number one destination to visit in 2017, there must be a pretty good reason why. The creativity of the Bali arts scene looks incredible and as a designer, definitely somewhere I'd love to visit.
From the beautiful old town buildings, to the photography center, I'd love to stumble around Stockholm simply for the alluring shots we'd undoubtedly take and to show the boys somewhere entirely new.
—Prague, Czech Republic
Of course, to visit the beer capital of the world (that's the Mr's reason why), and to see Prague's oldest bridges and incredible castles; I'm sure we'd feel as if we were in a fairytale of our own.
Corsica is somewhere I discovered recently (my geography knowledge is still finding it's way) and I've wanted to visit ever since, for the stunning views and beautiful waters, I'm sure it's an island we would quickly fall in love with.
The Northern Lights are a huge reason for wanting to visit this beautiful city, but also to be inspired, to see the whales and for the food; I'd love an icy adventure there someday.
I feel as if I'm starting my travelling adventures so late in life, after years of simply thinking the world just wasn't for me. Since having the boys, I've realised that isn't the case at all, and what bigger joy could I bring to their lives than the opportunity for us to explore the world together. There's always a reason to stay home, to revel in our comforts, but there's an even bigger reason to travel; I believe to grow as people—as kind, understanding, beings—we have to experience other cultures and places and I hope we're lucky enough to visit as many as we can over the coming years. If I've ever learnt anything in the years prior to turning 30, it's that..
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"
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