One of our central ideas when we fist came up with on the doorstep was to explore the everyday adventures that we can have on our doorsteps. The period of lockdown during the covid 19 outbreak has forced this theory into a whole new meaning, as we have all spent nearly 2 months finding things to do in our immediate surroundings. Although the end is in sight, it is probable that measures will stay in place for some months to come, changing our expectations of a summer holiday and where we might be travelling to in the near future.
A close family friend recently confessed that they had spent every Saturday night during the lockdown period camped out in a tent at the end of the garden, eating breakfast on a camping stove and hearing the many sounds from underneath a canvas. This isn’t for everyone, but it made the weekends feel different from the working week, a mini holiday that they would’ve otherwise taken in a nearby region.
There has been a lot of talk about the ‘staycation’, suggesting an adventure or holiday taken somewhere close by. It got me thinking about what a holiday means to us and why so many of us privileged enough to do so opt to jet away rather than stay at home during precious holiday time off work. Some of this of course is that the world has so many wonderful views, cities, cultures, cuisines and countries to explore that the relatively cheap cost of airtravel has allowed us to enjoy.
A holiday for me is an escape, a time to switch off and relax as well as an opportunity to explore new places. Summer holiday’s for me are often split between throwing myself headlong into an adventure sport, be it climbing, surfing, cycling or hiking, and a lazier week reading books, wine glass in hand, hopping from restaurant to cafe to bar. The winter months are similar with a combination of ski, snowboarding and hiking with city breaks where the dash between restaurants is just that little quicker. When I think about it therefore, it seems the key ingredients are food, drink, sport, new discoveries, often a loved one, unscheduled ‘fun’ and key to all- switch off from day to day life.
What if this could be done from our doorstep? How can it be done?
I think above all there has got to be an element of relocation, be it metaphorical or physical. If you can, avoid the area where you usually work. Switch off work notifications from mobile devices and dedicate some time to clearing ‘chores’ off a list so you can enjoy undisrupted time without thinking of the pile of laundry that needs doing or dusting the shelves.
I have been in lockdown in the small town in which I grew up and have discovered a whole new area of forest that I never knew existed. There is even a small reservoir I spotted on a map that I intend to walk around once the bad weather clears. It is almost impossible for anyone of us to have explored every inch of surroundings within a certain close radar. And lets face it, we are creatures of habit. Speak to some locals about where they walk, follow a new sign for a footpath or pull out an old fashioned map to identify some new sights.
TRAVEL WITH FOOD AND DRINK
When I first went to Morocco, I loved the intoxicating smell of spices that immediately transferred into their tagines, couscous and sweet pastry desserts. Why haven’t I ever tried cooking it? There are so many gorgeous cook books on shelves, at the library and available online, why not dedicate an afternoon to creating the cuisine from a different culture? Enjoy the process of the smells, the textures and the tastes that are perhaps different to what you would quickly whip up in a week.
As for drink, I didn’t know English wine existed let alone that it had flavour unique to any usual Italian or French bottle we usually select. Inevitably it costs a little more, but took to me to new avenues of local discoveries.
TRY A NEW ACTIVITY
Wild swimming seems to be a growing trend along with an increase in cyclists. I’ve never tried open lake swimming and have often thought the UK was too cold and prudish for such activites. The swedish seem to love it though and surely it’s no warmer there?! A holiday at home could be trialling camping, trail running or something else that you either usually don’t have time for or have simply never got round to trying. Who cares if you look a bit like a blue otter when you come out the chilly water, you’re on holiday!
Have you taken any holidays at home recently? Is it something you’re thinking about trying? Drop us a message, we’d love to hear more.