By Hannah Silverman
I know, I know, the tone became a little sombre in recent posts with a lot of reflection and reality. Necessary, of course, but I guess you could say it was my equivalent of an end of year travel cleanse where I revealed the darker challenges of adventure, as glorious as it is almost all of the time. So let’s lighten the mood now shall we?
2015, show me your magic! I’m ready to work with you on some great memories, but I’ve got something a little closer to home in store for the next 12 months…
This year I want to play it a little differently. I want to become better acquainted with my country, England. Its treasures are super close, but how thoroughly have I really explored it? Some people call it Mother England, so maybe it’s a case of spending some quality time with family.
That’s not to say I don’t have aspirations to globe trot and that I won’t be flying several directions away from English airports. Instead my key plan is to focus on getting to know the UK better, and more specifically England and its historic delights.
My English travel so far looks a little something like these examples, but there are many gaps to be filled in 2015…
It amazes me with equal parts of delight, that there are still so many domestic pages unturned. Is it the allure of “foreign” travel under the misguided belief that grass is always greener so I have this insatiable appetite to keep going? Or is it the exotic temptation to explore so many countries that don’t look like my backyard and are now closer and cheaper to me than ever before? Perhaps England’s simply become a victim of the “I can always go there” trap? Eh, lets file that one into the all of the above folder and keep going.
After growing up in Australia the northern hemisphere is a shiny new toy, but England for some reason seems to have fallen in favour during the past few months. I’m not quite sure why that is when this exciting country was the very reason I packed my bags in the first place.
As readers of this blog would know, history is a strong passion of mine, so while combining further study I hope to put this into practice by visiting the very places where so much of England’s cultural stories unfolded.
So, what in the name of St Christopher am I doing with myself for the next 12 months?
Here are my 2014 bucket list for English travel:
- Lakes District – I know, I know I still haven’t been… for shame.
- The Cotswalds – I’ve touched on this gorgeous region and I want to go back. If it means returning to Stratford-Upon-Avon, one of my all-time favourite global destinations, so be it.
- Leicester – Mainly because of all the controversy around Richard III and the excitement of his reinterment. I’m fascinated by the memorials and museums commemorating the tragic King.
- Hever Castle – Who doesn’t love an old castle? This one is of particular interest because it is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
- Eltham Palace – Another Tudor link, this time with a tie to Henry VIII as the home he grew up in.
- Cambridge – I’m just flushed with embarrassment over this one. Yes, this is a major destination for 2015.
- Somewhere north of Manchester – Yes, I’ve only gone as far as Manchester. Scotland doesn’t count.
- Thorpe Park – Rollercoasters. Enough said.
- Westminster Abbey – Remember when I played London tourist? I wasn’t prepared for the entry fee and line-up and time it would have taken me to thoroughly re-explore this icon. I’ll be sure to walk through in the new year.
- Somewhere I’ve never heard of – My geography is pretty good but I know there’s a place out there that’s I’ve never heard of, and when I do, that’s where I will be.
Have you got any tips? Let’s talk…