Let me kick off by saying that I am often frustrated by the limitations of my available time and money.
I’ll follow that up by saying that since 2011 I’ve lived my life in a slightly wayward fashion.
Nearly five years ago I gave up my desk job with the intention to travel around the world. Soon after I set off I realised that I couldn’t put a timescale on such an experience. The more I ventured, the more I wanted to do and so my ambitious adventure mellowed into a slower paced, more immersive journey that has completely changed my outlook on life.
Everyone’s heard of the adage: ‘money doesn’t grow on trees.’
We all know that to be able to afford a roof over our heads and to put food on the table requires us to work. The trouble is, knuckling down and getting on with the day job may leave little time for experiencing the grand adventures that float dreamily around your head (well, certainly my head) at any given moment.
But you’ve got to be realistic. You’ve got to get on with it. To afford anything – be it travel, clothes, a car or a house – you’ve got to work for it. And so, just like everyone else, my activities are constrained by the funds and the opportunity at my disposal.
For the last eleven months I have been in England following two years spent working and travelling in New Zealand. My priority whilst at home has been to spend as much time with my family and friends whilst planning the next grand adventure.
As I threw myself joyfully back into life at home I worked and watched, shocked, as my bank balance resolutely refused to swell. Funny how that happens when you spend too much money on doing other things. So the knuckling down began again in earnest as my goal was to save money to fund another trip.
As the brakes screeched me to a halt, I found myself glumly wishing I could make more of my time in Yorkshire but felt unable to.
Suddenly, I realised there was so much I was missing by not being attuned to it.
The best bit about my epiphany? All the things I was overlooking were free and happening right outside my front door in West Yorkshire.
Let me take you on a journey…
I couldn’t believe I was taking all of these things for granted. Right in front of my eyes were all these beautiful elements that make up where I am living. I was blind to them, so caught up as I usually am, dreaming about the next adventure and bemoaning my cash flow.
As soon as I remembered this, my mood instantly lifted. Be in the present. Learn to appreciate what is in front of you. Don’t stop exploring your environment.
So, can you travel without money and without essentially going anywhere? I’m going to argue that yes, in the name of curiosity, exploration and joy in your surroundings, that you can.
Right In Front Of Your Eyes
Even when funds are low and you feel like you’ve not got anything to look forward to in the diary. Even when you feel like your days are taken up by work and family commitments.
As you walk to work one morning you may notice green buds on the trees that signify the beginning of Spring. At the weekend you could take the dog for a walk in a place you’ve never visited; pack a picnic, take your camera. You and your partner can vow to visit that free museum you walk past every day in town, because, why not?
Sometimes, for too many reasons, we are unable to do the things we want to. But that’s ok, as the time will come when things will change. No matter where I find myself in future, whether or not I am ‘actively travelling,’ I vow to take more pleasure in my surroundings and realise how lucky I am to be living in that particular spot.
What do you think? What makes where you live so special?
Could you find joy in your surroundings and ‘travel’ without going anywhere or spending anything? Let me know what you think!
All pictures in this blog courtesy of Glynne Davies. Many thanks for allowing me to share your beautiful photographs.