I love travelling and I absolutely love experiencing new and different cultures, architecture, food and people. That is why my holidays usually involve a destination far away from home.
But what about actually getting to know and experiencing our own countries or the countries that we currently live in? What about a staycation?
There are so many amazing different places and actually countries in the United Kingdom (Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) that I have not visited and there are so many historic sights and stately homes linked to its past that are well preserved and waiting to be explored.
We all know the landscape and houses from movies such as Pride and Prejudice or Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and I am keen to see them for myself.
So, this Spring and Summer I am on a mission to leave my couch potato self behind and get out exploring Britain. It is time for a staycation!
Britain has many foundations and trusts such as National Trust, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces and the list goes on that preserve and conserve landmarks. These can be stately aristocratic homes, palaces, gardens, wildlife and even entire stretches of land such as coastlines.
I have recently become a member of the National Trust and want to make good use of my membership by going to as many places as I possibly can.
This has actually two benefits. The first one being me of course learning more about Britain, its culture and past, which will also enhance my quality of life and wellbeing.
But the second benefit is very important. Every time members visit a National Trust side and scan their membership card, that particular side gets extra funding in order to work on conservation and restoration projects such as restoring and cleaning paintings, reviving walled gardens, preserving carpets and many more.
By visiting as many sides as possible I can therefore make excellent use of my membership, well worth every single penny, and help these special sides get additional funding to look after the properties, animals and landscapes for future generations to enjoy.
CYCLING AND EXPLORING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I am drawn to the outside. I need to get my bike ready again for cycling tours.
It is amazing how little we sometimes know about our own neighbourhoods and I want to change this. There are several places, walks and also eateries such as small little pubs that I have been meant to go to for the past years.
Taking the bike out means that I get active and I can explore all the little side streets and hidden paths. And really important, I can also enjoy some nice ice cold cider or G&T as I do not have to drive back home in the car! Moreover, being outside in nature makes me happy. I love feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and the wind when I cycle. It makes me feel alive and free.
We always say that we will do something and 10 years later, we still have not done it. But this year will be different for me. This year I am going to change this.
In previous years I have organised weekend trips to other countries in Europe, but lately these have not met my expectations for some reason. Hence, I am looking for weekend trips closer to home.
Britain is diverse and within a few hours you can be in the mountains, by the beach or in a different big city. You can have the hustle and bustle of urban areas or be in the country side and take in some fresh air and enjoy the silence and scenery of sheep standing in fields (my favourite option).
Hotels are more expensive than in mainland Europe and I believe this is one of the reasons why many people decide to do a weekend break abroad, but I just need to be more organised and prepare in advance to find good deals. Also, some areas are cheaper than others as they might not be as well known. Hence, I just need to find these areas.
What are your thoughts on staycation?