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First of all, if I knew my trip to Berlin in late December would still be referred to as “my last trip” in June, I would have stayed more than an extra night!
That aside, since the UK Coronavirus lockdown began, I have been fortunate enough to be still working full time in the office. So, thankfully, I have managed to keep my mind busy and focused throughout this somewhat surreal time in all our lives. To be honest, I originally thought I would maybe have had so much free time. I had plans to improve my Spanish (from terrible to not terrible), learn how to play the Ukelele and many other things. However, these just haven’t happened to me. Personally, I feel like 2020 is just disappearing. The working week disappears and then the weekends go even faster. Is this just me?!
Travel And UK Lockdown
Naturally… not being able to travel due to the travel restrictions means I have had multiple holidays (which would have taken me to another 4 new countries) cancelled. Weirdly, for the first time, I have turned my head closer to home to find different getaways. I say weirdly because I am learning of places that I didn’t know existed.
Lockdown in the UK during Covid-19 has meant very limited exposure to anything outdoors, except for daily exercise. Personally, I have been travelling to work, doing a weekly shop, and otherwise staying pretty local with just a short walk to exercise some evenings. For someone who enjoys travelling and a busy social life incorporating lots of days out, this has not been the most exciting of times! However, I do have a lot to be thankful for during this tough period.
Thankfully, lockdown measures are beginning to slowly be relaxed so I have been planning journeys around my local area to keep my craving for new experiences satisfied.
What I’ve Learned During Lockdown
With the cancelled trips I had planned, I decided to treat myself to my first proper travel camera. After spending what some people may think is a ridiculous amount of time researching, I finally purchased the Nikon Z50. And I love it. The image quality is a much-welcomed improvement from my smartphone and it is lightweight enough to carry around without any issues of weight. This has meant several hours learning how to take a picture! Feel free to subscribe (using the form on the right, or at the end of this post) to join my journey into better photography.
A more spiritual kind of learning I have done is to appreciate what’s around me. As I have already hinted at, I have enjoyed exploring things to do near me rather than thinking I have to travel far and wide to explore.
Things To Do Near Me
One positive to take from all this is that people are beginning to appreciate what is on their doorstep a little more. Too often people associate travelling with going abroad. For a while now I have also been guilty of this myself. But, as the UK lockdown rules suggest, you should only be travelling locally.
Over the last few of weekends, I have managed to get out locally and do more exploring of places that are nearby. It is amazing the number of beautiful places that you can go to within a short distance when you actually look up and realise what surrounds you.
Like I mentioned after my trip to the Devil’s Pulpit, I was amazed how many places were close to me that were incredible locations, but I had never been to… or even heard of.
I recently had a day trip to Beecraigs Country Park, combined with a trip to see The Kelpies. These are a handful of miles apart and both offer some beautiful green areas, and The Kelpies also has… well… The Kelpies. The Kelpies are 30-metre high horse sculptures named after shape-shifting water spirits, said to possess the strength of ten horses.
Beecraigs also has various live animals, such as the delightful Highland Cow, which make it a perfect day out with kids.
This is just an example of the amazing day trips and outdoor experiences a short distance away which I just never found the time to go to.
One obvious advantage as you can see from some of these pictures) is the ridiculous amount of sun for a Scottish summer. The weather has been amazing and has often been 20 degrees and above, which is almost silly weather for Scotland. This makes it far too tempting to venture out and see the local area (social distancing of course!).
To be completely honest, the future is uncertain. No one knows how travel will be affected by this (at least not right now as I write this). It’s safe to say I will be back overseas as soon as things are safe. But, like most things, patience is the key. So I’m going to sit tight and keep my mind and body busy during this surreal time, and I hope you all can do the same.
Currently, I have no travel plans. This is probably the first time in a long time that I haven’t had a trip on the cards. Normally that would really agitate me. I love having a trip to look forward to. Yet surprisingly, I’m pretty at peace with the fact that I may not travel too far this year. We can all just keep our fingers crossed of a Covid-19 vaccine/cure as soon as possible.
Most likely, I will take my domestic travelling a step further and try to see more of Scotland’s beautiful countryside… once the Government gives us the go-ahead. So feel free to subscribe and keep up to date with my travels.
I would recommend to anyone looking for things to do during lockdown to have a look at things to do locally rather than satisfying the urge to travel across the country, or even further.
For now, maybe I’ll be able to pick up that Ukulele…
How are you finding life in lockdown? Or when will you feel safe travelling again? Let me know below!