Saturday, 26 August 2017

Wanderlust




“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta


I would never have described myself as a traveller. I'm not a nomad. I don't feel the call of the wild, or whatever you phrases you might use to describe someone who has the travelling bug. 

I was never drawn to the gap year, to travelling the world with a rucksack. 

I would usually describe myself as a city girl, someone who loves the convenience of life in the city, in walking to the nearest shop and being able to buy prosecco at 9pm at the end of my street. 

In terms of day to day living, living in a town has been by far the best decision. The convenience of being able to walk the kids to school and nursery and then wander off to do the weekly shop has been incredible, and exactly what I love. 

I wouldn't change where we live for the world, it suits us and our needs as a family perfectly. 

But being a parent seems to have awoken something in me that I didn't even know I possessed. I can only describe it as wanderlust. 

Maybe it was taking the leap and living in the Middle East for four years; maybe it is having three children and thinking about the things I remember from my childhood, the things that stay with me; maybe it is seeing the possibilities in my children, and wanting to expose them to opportunities to find out who they are and the right path for them; maybe it is because we are now settled, that I want to roam in our leisure time. 

I see the world with fresh eyes now. I see opportunities which I have never seen before. I feel excitement about travel and trips and possibilities which I have never felt before. 

I recently met up with a work colleague who spoke about travelling within the UK with such passion and love, that I began to rethink my perspective on holidaying in the UK. 

There's no guaranteed sun, but then with three young children, the hot eternal sunshine can be a curse as well as a blessing (ask those still in Dubai this summer!). 

My sunbathing days are long gone, and are not likely to resurface for many, many years! The lack of lazing opportunities have forced me to consider what else might be out there for us as a family. 

In doing that, it has helped to show me that the person I thought I was, is not necessarily all that I can be. 

I still love my luxury hotels and spa treatments, but it has reminded me of the girl who loved going to Brownie camp; who did her Duke of Edinburgh in the tail end of an American hurricane; who found solace in rock climbing and orienteering during her much dreaded P.E. lessons at school. 

I'm not sure I'm ready for full scale camping (or even glamping... not just yet) but I'm definitely ready to embrace more of the outdoors that I have in the last decade or so. 

Walking boots are firmly on my shopping list and I'm seriously excited by the endless possibilities offered by the UK and far beyond. 

My head is full of the exciting prospects that corners of the UK offer me. The Cotswolds; Norfolk; the Lake District; the Peak District; Cornwall; Northumberland; Wales; the West of Scotland; Northern Ireland. 

There is so much possibility. From exploring caves with stalagmites and stalactites to cable cars and boat trips out onto a loch. 

For some reason all of this calls to my soul. It beckons in a way that is immeasurably powerful and all consuming. 

And that's before I look beyond our own borders. Our children are still too young but I'm already longing after lapland; Iceland; Costa Rica; Peru; Cambodia; New Zealand; Canada; Alaska; Norway. 

I want to give the kids experiences that stay in their souls. I want them to kayak, to ride horses, to be able to climb mountains. 

Disney World has a magic all of its own, but the tension of a safari before sunrise, searching for the first glimpses of an elephant, that brand of magic is calling to me. 

I'm so excited of the prospect of discovering these things as a family. Of watching the wonder in my children's eyes as they see things they never dreamed of. Of exposure to natural wonders, a world outside of my iPhone (which I need to learn to leave at home!); a world that lives and breathes and dances to a different tune. 

My bucket list is long, and growing longer everyday. Where is on your bucket list?