It’s the end of October and for the first time this year, we are both going to be at home for more than 4 weeks at a time. Like 2017, 2018 has been another year of travel — some together, some solo. But what an amazing year it has been. I’m actually feeling a little blue about not having any more trips outside of the UK to look forward to, so I wanted to share a few thoughts about travel in general from the past year.
I am a homebody who loves to travel, which is quite a confusing situation when you think about it. For the past couple of years, I’ve found myself yo-yoing between needing time to recharge at home and itching for our next adventure. Sweden and Norway were especially hard to leave after so long and I had a sinking feeling in my stomach for several weeks afterwards because I was missing somewhere that came to feel like home as well as the lifestyle we had there. When you’re in a place you really like, it doesn’t take long for that to happen.
We nearly always book city breaks with good connections to lakes, mountains or nature. I like the buzz of the city (a contrast to village life), lots of good places to eat and unexpected things to stumble across — but the freedom to easily escape it all and feel like civilisation is miles away.
There are always a few things I always miss about home. I miss my own pillow because most are too soft, cooking in my own kitchen, my clean carpet free from other people’s stains and lastly, cheddar cheese. It’s really hard to find a decent cheddar, if any, in some countries.
Travel exposes you to the best and worst in people. Thankfully we’ve had more good experiences than bad including the kind lady in Lisbon who offered a group of us shelter from the rain in her home, the Norwegian cashier who wrote down the word for “receipt” so we could learn it, the French hotel that gave us a spare room for as long as we needed when Scott was really ill with a migraine, the woman we met on the bus to Esja (who become a hiking buddy for the day) and the Icelandic taxi man who pulled over to show us amazing views and horses without charging any extra for the journey.
I’d be lieing if I said travel was always sunshine and rainbows. One set of worries is generally exchanged for another but they aren’t necessarily worse, just different. Delayed flights, feeling unwell or needing to buy medicines in a forgein country and everyday tasks becoming harder due to language barriers.
Stockholm was our best and worst trip. We had a death in the family and needed to move the outbound flight. British Airways tried to charge us the cost of the whole journey again!! So we booked a whole new trip through another airline because it was cheaper than BA and that flight ended up being delayed by 6 hours — I actually cried at the airport because I thought we were never going to get there. We finally got to our apartment and it was filthy!! But we had so much fun after that, the struggles became worthwhile.
The best thing about travelling is, it gives you the chance to find and live the life you crave, even if you aren’t entirely sure what that is until you experience it. And this doesn’t have to mean visiting far flung places, exploring your own country is travel too.