(Stick with me, this turns around!)
So for those of you that don’t know me, my names Kim, and I most definitely have… ‘the travel bug’.
I was first infected many moons ago, when I departed for my first adventure at the age of 19. I jumped on a plane heading to the USA, guide books and an old school digital camera in hand (remember those?!) ready to work at an all girls summer camp in North Carolina. I very vividly remember being completely terrified, my dad waving me off at Heathrow Airport, and crying myself to sleep on the first night, wondering what heck I thought I was doing! But honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. That summer at camp turned into two summers, and I managed to pack in some touring around New York and the North East Coast while I was there too. I made some amazing friends who I’m still in touch with now, and left with THE most ahhhhmazing memories to boot.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to holiday, work, and live, in some amazing locations around the world. These include, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, Germany, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, France, and even other parts of the US.
On returning home, without fail, when the joy of seeing friends and family again faded, I remember each time, feeling sad that I wasn’t still off adventuring somewhere. I’d miss the weather, mountainous scenery, the lakes, rivers, or the sea, the huge skies, the exotic animals, the food, the lifestyle, and new friends that I’d made. That’s the only downside to travel, leaving it all behind again after you’ve only just discovered it and it’s marvel….!
I remember for a while I’d feel resentful of the UK. What does home have to offer? Rainy, inconsistent weather, over populated towns and cities, depressing news stories, boring skylines, and the ‘rat race’ mentality. I’d inevitably very quickly start planning and saving for my next trip, and start dreaming yet again of exotic adventures overseas.
This was until, of course, the colossal slap in the face that is COVID-19 arrived in all of its devastating glory, and completely changed the world as we know it. Suddenly, the prospect of travel, in any capacity, completely diminished from all of our thoughts, and over seas trips vanished as a possibility for 2020….and let’s face it, they’re not looking particularly rosy for 2021 either!
So as a result of this, I had to start looking at our dear old country a little differently. I think COVID has changed a lot about all of our perspectives on life, I know it has for a lot of mine, and one of these is having a considerable amount more love for the United Kingdom.
All of a sudden, I started to marvel at our British countryside, the rolling green hills of the Cotswolds, the beautiful beaches in Devon, and even the vast green and yellow farmland of Lincolnshire. I became obsessed with our bird population, and could often be found watching hedgerows and tree lines, looking for wherever the beautiful bird song was coming from, or trying to see where the woodpecker I had spotted had disappeared off to. I started walking more with my little dog Mavis, and would head out for hours on end, complete with a flask of herbal tea and my little backpack. When we were allowed, country parks became a regular haunt, with favourites including Clumber and Rufford Park, and more than a few visits down to the lovely Chatsworth House.
This year, even though things look like they *might* be opening up a little in some places to travel abroad, I’ve found myself preferring to stay in the UK for now…and I’m actually excited at the prospect of holidaying somewhere closer to home this year, and perhaps for years to come (alongside the occasional adventures abroad of course!)
So now, next to my list of places I still have to visit overseas, I now also have a list for the UK… a novel idea, that I probably would have dismissed a few years ago! This includes seeing more of Wales, getting over to the Lake District, heading down to Cornwall, driving around the Highlands in Scotland, and many more.
To conclude, I absolutely have a renewed appreciation for the country of my birth, and I’m ashamed I couldn’t see it before. As it turns out, Great Britain, does have some rather lovely skylines, when it feels like it, it’ll throw some cracking weather, and even the occasional rather gorgeous sunrise, it’s home to some very cute animals which definitely won’t try to eat/poison you, it does have some fabulous food (scones and jam… I’m looking at you!) and as I’ve discovered, there are actually plenty of places for a good old adventure.
Think I’ll stay home again this year!
Regional Reporter - East Midlands
Hi! My name is Kim, and I run an equestrian coaching business, specialising in building confidence for horse and rider, as well as teaching western riding and liberty work. I’ve always had a passion for the countryside and love the outdoors! When I’m not teaching or riding, I can often be found adventuring with my Scottie x Poodle Mavis, discovering all that the British countryside has to offer! I’m also a major foodie, I love to cook, but also cannot wait to get out again and go out for dinner!