Globetrotter, Interrupted

Posted on June 27, 2012

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Being lucky enough to go abroad frequently with my family meant the travel bug bit me at a young age. Discovering new countries and cultures flourished into a huge passion and I journeyed to Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America to name but a few places. But it’s now been over a year since I’ve left England and my neglected passport lies buried in a bottom drawer, gathering dust.

I didn’t choose to stop globetrotting, but a period of poor health, lack of job stability and a decision to make the leap into self employment meant that my purse strings were rapidly, and severely, tightened. So holidays abroad got the axe.

Does this mean I’ve spent the last twelve months dolefully flicking through the National Geographic and crying into a sock? Not really. I’d be lying if I said the glut of palm-tree-speckled holiday snaps clogging up my Facebook news feed doesn’t occasionally ignite an urge to smash my laptop in a jealous rage, but it’s actually been a really interesting year.

Because when planning adventures, it’s so easy to forget what’s right on your doorstep.

When you don’t spend all your time dreaming up trips down the Nile, or treks to Macchu Picchu, it frees up a few hours in the day to think about finding excitement on home pastures. After a string of unfulfilling contracts, I decided to set up my own blog and trial being my own boss as a freelance writer – which has been an adventure in itself. Relinquishing the shackles of office employment has introduced an exciting element of autonomy in my life that’s more euphoria inducing than a jolly to Mexico could ever be.

A few years ago while exploring New Zealand, with my neck permanently craned upwards in awe, I raved to my Scottish travel buddy about how I’d never seen such awesome mountains. He paused, looked somewhat nonplussed and sucked lazily on his cigarette before muttering something about how it reminded him of back home.

Breathtaking Scottish mountainous beauty is just a train ride away

Naturally I felt like a first class plonker explaining that I’d voyaged to the opposite end of the globe to check out the great Kiwi outdoors, but had never actually ventured across my own country’s border into Scotland.

Thankfully, I’m working on this local travel phobia. I live in the sprawling, frothing, melting pot of cultural wonder that is London and have been rediscovering its many galleries and museums this year. I’ve volunteered in my local community garden. I’ve immersed myself in freelance writing projects and I have a festival saturated summer to look forward to. Not to mention the rolling, green UK countryside has masses to offer the discerning explorer.

Over the last year I’ve visited North England’s stunning Peak District, can’t wait to investigate Snowdonia National Park in Wales and plans for a jaunt to Scotland are finally underway. The jury’s still out on whether my freelance income will keep me in crisps and hummus for the long term, but right now I don’t need to chase adventures on foreign shores. There’s enough going on right under my nose.

An edited version of this article has been published on the MTV Voices blog here.

Image credits:

Suitcases – http://www.completeandunabridged.blogspot.co.uk
Scottish mountains – http://www.vroomvroom.co.uk

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