Anyone who follows my Instagram account will have noticed that the regular pictures of my laptop next to a cup of tea in a cafe somewhere have been coming from some different places lately. A rather large change in personal circumstances over the summer has led to moving house and travelling around the UK and slightly further afield a fair bit more. And that looks likely to continue.
Before children I travelled loads. Around the UK for my job, all over Europe for work related conferences, but also around Europe and sometimes further for pleasure. I love travelling. Love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and also enjoying the sights and sounds of different places. I’m also a geek when it comes to modes of transport and have dreams of a Michael Palin style Around the World in 80 Days adventure, so I can indulge myself with trains and ferries to my heart’s content!
As I’ve said, I’m now able to travel a bit more again, both with and without the kids, and I’m feeling a bit like an excited child at Christmas as a result. The flexibility of my job means that I can work from pretty much anywhere where I can find an internet connection and so for the last couple of months my “office” has been coffee shops and cafes around the UK and Ireland where I can find free wi-fi, or at least a decent mobile signal so I can tether my laptop to my phone.
I’ve been working whilst also watching the world go by wherever my partner’s job has been taking him. Sitting in cafes for hours at a time means you see a real mix of people, get a feel for the local area and also get to overhear some intriguing conversations. Today’s highlight has to be two old women who spent a good 15 minutes in an Irish hospital cafe talking about whether it was wrong to be debating whether James May or Richard Hammond was better looking. In case you were wondering – although they both felt that “classically” Richard was better looking they both had a sweet spot for James May and wanted to take him home with them! They also agreed on the fact that both of them need a good haircut though. Something I totally agree with.
The other thing that I’ve noticed with travelling more again is that once you start seeing lots of new places you just want to keep doing it more and more. Sitting in an airport looking at all the far away place names makes me dream of visiting them all. I’m sat finishing off this blog post at London St Pancras station where I can see departure boards listing trains to places as varied as Paris, Brussels and Margate. Not everywhere is glamorous, but then again that doesn’t always matter if you’re with the right people, and in the right frame of mind to explore a place enough to find the hidden gems. The summer has seen me explore three different capital cities as well as camping in Nottinghamshire, and I can honestly say that they were all just as much fun and I’ve been blissfully happy in all those places.
My travel bucket list hasn’t seen much ticked off it recently, but I think it’s now time to make a fresh start. There are places on it as varied as remote Scottish islands, beaches with white sands and blue seas and Icelandic hot springs. Now I just need to dust off my passport and make it all happen.
Map and passport image from Shutterstock.