Today, our friend Chelsea Haden over at Lovinglifeinwellies shares her experiences of being a traveller and what travelling really means to her. Thanks to Chelsea for the great guest blog post, we would love to hear how you would define the term “traveller” in the comments.
What does travelling mean to you?
It always intrigues me how others and I define travelling. You only have to look on Instagram and see the array of hammocks, sun loungers, mountain tops, and oceans all in far away exotic landscapes to see how many of us define travelling. Let’s face it, a lot of us wouldn’t describe travelling as staying in the same country. Especially in Great Britain. The idea of leaving on a jet plane, boarding a ship or embarking on a great train journey across the deeper depths of the unknown as travelling.
And up until a 4 years ago, that was my definition. It’s always been a running joke within my friends and family that I’ve some unknown fear about leaving Great Britain. Don’t get me wrong I’ve done the usual Spain, Greece and Malta trips with the family when I was young but I haven’t left GB since I was 10 and I’m now 25! I used to have huge hangups about that especially since I’ve always met the travelling types. I’d describe myself as somewhat nomadic. My home is wherever I lay my head. I like freedom and being able to up and leave when I can but that didn’t include leaving the country….
Growing up and the need to leave
I had a pretty average childhood (so I thought) which included camping with my nan, lots of caravaning and so on. And then in my teenage years, it was pretty much the same but this time with friends. I hit 18 and the desire to leave the country was strong but every chance I got to go away, something always cropped up. I took it as a sign or something. It was therefore trips to the big capitals to indulge in the wine bars, restaurants , flocks of people and tourist attractions.
I still wasn’t indulging my nomadic routes!
A lifestyle change
And then I moved away from that city lifestyle to a little village in the middle of one of the most beautiful counties in the UK -Shropshire. Where I believe inspired the author of Lord of Rings. I was also lucky to be bordering on beautiful Wales (which is a different country I’ll have you know!) Suddenly I felt like a traveler. An adventurer. An explorer. Hills, mountains, lakes, rivers, canals, beaches and seas to explore. All of this in my backyard.
Looking back throughout my early life, I was always a traveller I just didn’t quite see it. I always had a taste to try something new, meet different people and soak up new experiences.
A Local Traveller
A few days ago at a local blogger meetup, one of the bloggers asked me If I’d done much travelling and I was quick to say no. I could have kicked myself! I would have like to have said ‘well yes quite a bit actually’ and then I would have gone on to tell her some of my favourite moments and stories, you know like travellers do?
Moments Last a Lifetime
Such as my wild camping experience a few months ago where I nearly stepped on to animal trap, made my first fire, sat under a pitch black sky with thousands of stars above and watched as the fog crept in around us. We thought we were the only people there that night until we saw a torch flashing on and off a few miles down, and so we played torch morse code for the evening. We never did pass them in the morning….
Or that time when I first started wild adventuring and thought wild camping was carrying pillows, fire pits and a whole host of thing that I didn’t really need, through a dark forest, only to pitch up too near to the edge of a waterfall (which we only found out in the morning light!) Woken up by scary barking hounds at 5am thinking that we were in the middle of a hunt. On close inspection, my ears worked out that the howls weren’t coming any closer and coming from a nearby farm.
And those times when I climbed big mountains even though my legs and lungs hurt, those times when I mountain biked through vast forest with tricky tracks, or went horse riding through the hills and got hayfever so much so I couldn’t see where I was going! And those serene moments floating on a kayak down the river and being tipped off when I hit a small rapid the wrong way.
We are Always Travelling
I’ve come to learn that as soon as we step out of the house, we’re travelling. Yes there are so many amazing things to do and see in the world and life’s short so you should aim to do as much as you want to do. However sometimes, the pressure to do so can distract you from all of the amazing things that are right on your doorstep.
I wished I would have realised this years ago because I would have mentally photograph much more of my childhood adventures but we can’t change the past. Therefore from now on, I’ll make any occasion a piece of adventure, a form of travel.
And yes I will see the rest of the world very soon as I have a huge bucket list! But I don’t need a getaway, a break, somewhere to escape it all, I have those holidays moments nearly most of the time.
I’m making the most of my life whether home or away.