Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Thursday, February 04, 2021

The thoughts of a woman who craves to travel

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, The thoughts of a woman who loves to travel, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

It's Wednesday night, it's perpetually thrown it down with an icy rain since Monday night and it's been the blandest day of February I can ever remember.  I'm watching the first episode of Joanna Lumley's Home Sweet Home and within about 5 minutes that familiar itchy feet feeling has returned, I crave to travel and right now, I crave to travel anywhere that's more than a few miles from my front door.

I've written before, dear reader, that I came to travelling quite late in life, well at least overseas travel, where the UK is concerned I have traversed as far and wide as I could as often as I could.  We live in this magnificent country, steeped in history with the most beautiful views at every turn.  There are very few of us who have to travel more than a few miles to find something historic or beautiful or both.  It might be an amazing part of a city or an incredibly beautiful scene in a rural location, the UK is simply amazing.

Kirkstone Pass, Lake District, The thoughts of a woman who craves to travel, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger


Last year when we were safe to travel I spent 2 weeks walking in the Lake District and then later on at the end of the summer I spent 10 days in the Scottish Highlands, both trips were completely on my own and unlike when I'm stuck at home alone, I was not lonely, even for one minute because travel was all of the company I needed.

On my trip to the Highlands, I learnt the joy of taking an organised trip which meant that I got to experience even more than I could ever have dreamt of and because of travel restrictions, no trips were busy and I never had to sit next to anyone I didn't know (hurrah).

I think this year I shall take more coach trips and I don't even care if they're filled with others who are much older than me.  I don't drive and I like to drink in the views when I travel so a slow bus with not too many other people is now my idea of a dream, well in this country. I'd go for a cruise right now but I reckon it might be a while yet before they're safe to go on.  The only thing I think I miss when I travel alone is a companion to have dinner and drinks in the evenings with, it's not that I am scared to have dinner on my own but having a gin alone isn't quite so much fun as having drinks with someone you love whether that be a friend or family or a life partner (and I'm on a mission this year to find myself one of those).

Duncansby stacks, the thoughts of a woman who craves to travel, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger


I will never regret the travel I did last year because if I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have had the memories and the photos I can console myself with on these long lockdown days alone. I've often said how I don't buy souvenirs on trips (other than the occasional fridge magnet) but I do take a lot of photos and for me, that's what it's about, I travel as light as I can, I find the best views and I look at old photos on the down days, the dark days, the days when you feel you can't go on.  There have been too many of them during this lockdown but at least I am writing again, trying to find my groove and most of all, distracting myself with memories of past trips whilst also thinking about where I'll go first when this last (hopefully) lockdown is finally over.

I have 2 vouchers, both for 2 nights accommodation and I haven't decided whether to use them all in Scotland (because it fills my heart and soul) or whether to be daring and head for Cornwall, one of the few places that I've never experienced, Belfast and Northern Ireland are also on my list for this year, I must take my own photo of the Dark Hedges in County Antrim, one of the amazing Game of Thrones locations.

Castle Hill, Keswick, the thoughts of a woman who craves travel, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger


In this long, dark, arduous, lonely lockdown when very little makes sense and my photography career is like some kind of weird dream, I think travel and the inspiration it provides is one of the few things keeping me going right now.  I don't wish to get too maudlin but I have days lately where my first thought upon waking is when can I go back to bed?  The days are endless and being trapped inside your own thoughts without any other humans for days, well it almost feels like a punishment.  To be honest, at the moment I have no idea how I'm ever going to pay for travel again but I also hope that once lockdown lifts that people will start planning weddings again, they will come out into the sunshine and want big family portrait sessions and with that money I will invest a lot of it into my gift boutique but the rest, well if there's anything else, I shall save it for as much travel as I can possibly cram in.  

Hareshaw Linn, Northumberland, the thoughts of a woman who craves to travel, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger



I've reached a part in my life where I really only have my cats to answer to, Abigail and Looby both live their own magnificent independent lives, Looby would prefer to be with the horses and Abi, though we do love to travel together, she also has her own life.  I used to believe I could only travel if it was with one of them, that it was selfish to travel on my own but really, it was selfish to expect them to travel with me and enjoy the same things that I do.  I hope in the future we'll travel sometimes together but I'll never make anyone have fun or adventures against their own will.

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