I need to go exploring.
My family aren’t exactly ones to jet off on some Thomas Cook all inclusive summer holiday which, at the age of 15, was very upsetting for me. Friends would come back to school caramel-coloured telling me stories of flying off banana boats and Turkish waiters proposing to them. I came back with reviews of hotel breakfasts across the UK. It’s not a bad thing to be able to say how one Premier Inn compares to the next but my family holidays ensured that no plane would be required to get us to our destination. At the time I hated this. Now I miss it.
So map out, we’d make our way to the likes of Lincoln, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Gloucester, London….anywhere that looked big enough to entertain us for a few days or small enough to let us escape life (I remember at the age of 2 feeding pigs on a B&B farm, heaven). Once there we’d usually convert the sofa into two beds, my brother and I would fight for who had to sleep on the floor and once sorted, run to find the pool. The weekend would be spent at museums, art galleries, shopping and anything else that looks incredibly boring when being read on the internet. If the 15 year old me had known I’d later be trying to blog about those weekends away then maybe she would’ve taken photos. Unfortunately she was too busy hating culture at the time; culture and castles.
At night we might go to the cinema, find a busy restaurant to eat in or just chill in the hotel room. It was like living a normal life in a different place. In the morning we’d hope for the greatest continental breakfast and prey that Little Chef wouldn’t let us down. It did not.
Over time I became accustomed to these weekends away. Every city was like it’s own country, had its own style, own vibe, own crowds. Some cities sucked, sorry Gloucester. Some were scary, looking at you Glasgow. Then there’s the capitals which are the capitals for a good reason.
You see, when you spend a little time in any city , you can find some love for it no matter how deep (very deep for Gloucester) down it is. Even Birmingham pulls on the heart strings when you find it’s good bits (and that all depends on what you like). What I really need to do is go back to those weekends away or days out and spend some time in a new place. Southampton is probably a good place to start with…