As the weeks roll by and we begin to embark on my favourite seasons, I have noticed my diary filling up with various different daycations. OK, yeah a day out, call it what you want.
I am fortunate or unfortunate depending on your opinion to live in the Midlands. I tell others I live near Leicester but I avoid frequenting Leicester unless I am going to watch the Rugby. I actually live on the border between Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Smack bang on the M1 (not literally just very close). My Dad, the practical realist/ opportunist he is, insists no member of the family can ever move from here because we have access to every main motorway in the country in a matter of minutes, the glamour. It may sound like a little Alan Partridge-esq of a reason to live somewhere (and please don’t take it literally we don’t just live here for the motorways), unless you like a good day out, Like I do. Then as you get, older, grow in independence and realise that London isn’t all Good looking bankers, brunches and cocktail-filled evenings, after all, it suddenly becomes a lot more of an appealing place to live. Due to our close proximity to every major road in the UK, the one thing it does enable apart from long lonely nights and various tinder matches with people just passing by as they whiz along the m1 is easy to access to some of the UK’s best days out.
I don’t know where my love for a day away and road trips came from but tragically the car journey is one of my favourite aspects of a daycation. Packing into the car, radio up loud ( I am still old school and have to rely on the terrible choices made by overpaid DJs or some old CDS, any still working after years of doubling up as an ice scraper). Snacks in abundance and usually someone with me to keep me company and to complain about my driving. The road trip element of these days out massively contributes as to why I love them so much. I love long conversations, my favourite sugar foods, listening to music. Forcing people to chat away about stuff we otherwise wouldn’t have the time to talk about.
I believe the recent rise in my need to get away comes from various happenings in my life. I am a natural born wanderer. I can walk for miles, I love exploring, I love being away from it all, in the middle of no where, with no other Humans for miles. I am also a natural born worrier, and whilst I love nothing more than jetting off to a different country or staying in hotels if I can see a new place and still climb into my own bed at night, then I am in my absolute anxiety free element.
From my house, I can be in Lincoln, the peak district or even the Cotswolds within in an hour. If I travel a little further I can be in Leeds or Cardiff (I’d be less inclined to do these for the day, having done so in the past). I have the luxury of being in various different places in the UK with just a point of a compass and I love that freedom. I love picking a place, packing the car and going to have a look around knowing that by the end of the day I will be returning to the comforts of my home, to cuddles with my dog and my own bed waiting for me.
This year alone I have managed to squeeze in two separate days out to the Cotswolds. One trip to Painswick, and another to Broadway with a walk up to Broadway Tower. I have been to Cliveden house with the family for a family day out. I travelled to North Wales to visit the Italian village of Portmeirion with my older sister. I have also had a day in Lincoln to celebrate mothers day. As you are reading this I am hopefully en route to Brancaster beach to spend a blustery day, clearing heads with my lovely friend Alex. I also have two days in London planned this weekend although it goes against the daycation because I am staying at Fliss’. Lets look at it as two days out for the price of one. Besides it always feels like home when I am in the company of those three.
By arranging my time, I have been able to spend my days off enjoying what feels like mini-holidays to me without the expense of having to pay for accommodation or evening meals out. I feel as though I am going to places I have had on my list for years, exploring the wonders we already have in this country without spending money on flights and losing precious hours waiting in airports. I get to take Dougal with me, spend time with friends and make new memories. The day may fly by, and it may only be 10 quick, short hours but they are 10 hours packed full. They are 10 hours to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to explore these places, to be able to switch off from work and experience new things. To try new pubs, explore small delis, discover hidden little shops I would never have come across at home.
Of course, these days will never prevent me from feeling the need to search Skyscanner on a daily basis. They don’t stop me from wanting to explore other countries but for someone who constantly has itchy feet (is that a saying?) who always wishes to be doing something and exploring new places, it is enough. Because of these daycations (the word makes me cringe too don’t worry) I will never underestimate the influence standing on top a beacon or hill overlooking rolling countryside or sand between my toes even though the wind is battering me and its only 8 degrees, has on my mental health. I will never take for granted how looking out to any sea (Blackpool coastline, I am sorry but you are excluded from this because you were not pleasant) will also help me put my worries into perspective or how content I can feel driving home after a lovely day with friends, snacking on some winegums as Dougal snores peacefully on the back seat. These days are not the glamorous travel photos which pepper Instagram. To others these day won’t look like I am #livingmybestlife but for the sake of my happiness and wellbeing I am ok with that. All I will ever need is a day, my dog, my car (although someone else driving is always favoured by every companion I take with me) and a place in mind and I know suddenly everything is going to be ok.
I upload all my Uk Travel photos on my photography page so check them out.