I’m probably not what you would think of as a ‘traveller’.
I’ve never packed my stuff into a backpack and set off to travel the world for three months, six months, a year.
I’ve never travelled alone, save for the odd weekend to stay with friends, or trips away for work, which are always in the UK.
I’ve always lived in the same town where I was born.
But the older I get, the more appreciate my time spent away from home, exploring new places and seeing a little bit more of the world. One of my favourite ways to spend time is simply to wander unfamiliar streets with my camera, capturing the details so I will always remember.
I’d love to take a trip somewhere every month, but there are two main obstacles to that: money and my full-time office job.
Money isn’t such a big issue, over the last year or two, travel has become more of a priority for me, so I’ve naturally changed my spending habits to accommodate that. I’m fortunate enough to be earning a bit more now, so I can choose to spend my disposable income on flights or hotels rather than clothes, nights out and beauty treatments.
Work is a bigger stumbling block. My current job allows me 23 days annual leave a year, plus a couple of unpaid days at Christmas. The big bonus is that we have flexi-time, so if I’ve worked extra, I can build up a few additional days off.
If I schedule my leave carefully, I can manage to squeeze in a good few trips. This year, I plan to have five trips away, ranging from three to seven days each.
Unfortunately, I’ve been badly bitten by the travel bug and following so many travel blogs and Instagram accounts only makes that worse. The need to explore, to add another place to travel wish list, is intense.
I’m torn between the desire to always visit somewhere new, to travel to as many countries as I possibly can, and the nostalgia for places I want to return to and explore in more detail.
It’s such a big world out there that half a dozen short trips a year doesn’t feel like enough. Yet I know I’m very fortunate to be able to travel that much, while holding down a job, paying a mortgage and being married.
Maybe one day, if that novel ever gets published and the writing career becomes a reality rather than a dream, maybe then I’ll discover I have the freedom to travel more and follow my heart outside the pages of a book or my Instagram feed, into some of those places that call to me so fiercely.