New Year, Old Goals, New Focus?

As new year rolls around again, we’ve been looking back on some of our posts from last year and reviewing the goals that we set for 2018.

This time last year, we’d set ourselves the goals of doing more short breaks and perhaps getting another big trip in to somewhere exotic. None of that happened in 2018! Instead, the money we would have used to travel ended up helping us to buy a house. Houses are expensive little f@&kers (who knew?!) and that meant we had no spare cash for travelling.

I really struggled with that (Wandering Beeb is far more relaxed than me!) and a combination of ants in my pants, a travelling bug and the inability to relax unless I’m physically away from home meant that I scrimped and scraped to cobble together some cash to manage a couple of days away in Plitvice Lakes and Split in Croatia. So what if that meant that we had no flooring in the house (in a contest between flooring and travel, travel wins hands down, right?!).

All of the expenditure on the house has meant that we needed to change our outlook on travel this year. Local places needed to be seen through fresh eyes and we explored things closer to home. We wrote about our approaches to this here.

One of the things that has really helped us to do this is the ‘Manc_Wanderer’ account on Instagram (check it out if you are an Insta person). Seeing our home town through these amazing photos really forced us to look at our surroundings with fresh eyes.

So, this leads me to 2019. Our goals are a combination of looking a places close to home with fresh eyes, building in smaller weekend city breaks and (hopefully) getting away on a bigger trip later in the year. Yes those goals sound familiar. We set similar goals last year but 2018 had its own ideas. Our goals might not all happen; but that’s what goals are, things to aim for, not things set in stone. Ether way, it will be an interesting ride.

But it’s a four hour drive away…..

I live in the UK. Greater Manchester to be exact. London is about 4 hours drive away, or two hours (ish) if you stump up an extortionate amount to travel by train. I’ve been there so many times: too many gigs to mention, work meetings, visiting friends; however I am always amazed when I think about how little sightseeing I have actually done in the Big Smoke.

Sure, when I was a kid at school, we did a trip to London and visited Buckingham Palace and went to see some shows. When I came down for a couple of gigs, we went hunting the Tardis, visited the London Dungeon and the Globe Theatre, however I’ve never felt like I’ve done sight seeing properly.

The most extensive “sightseeing” I’ve ever done was in Westminster when I visited for a work event and managed to squeeze in an hour of photo snapping.

Recently I traveled down to Lambeth for work. I was staying in a hotel along the river and the view from my room was amazing. It got me thinking; if that view had been in New York, I’d have been blown away. Similarly, if I was going on a Canadian road trip, I’d think nothing of a 4 hour drive to reach my destination. So why is London (or Scotland or Wales for that matter) any different? It’s purely a mind-set.

So from now on, I’m going to try and look at my own country through the eyes of a visitor. I am hopeful that this will let me see familiar places with fresh eyes.