In November of this year, 2009, I will be 50 years old, so I asked myself what kind can I do to celebrate this fact?
After all it's the BIG Birthday, the BIG 5 0 - and I want to have something to remember it by. of course there are times that I think actually I just want it to pass quietly, and not aknowledge the fact that it's looming on the horizon.
I came to the conclution that it's not the actual day that's the worry, but the lead up to it, so after a glass of two (maybe more) I decided that what I needed to do is have a plan, a project... I always loved a project. A project that I would not only enjoy, but one that I would not get too bored with and what would add something to my experience of this rather humongoues year!
So what to do??
I decided that as I always wanted to travel, but never got round to it, - I had children instead, that ‘travelling’ would be a major part of the project. But where to go? What corner of this wondrous globe we live on? There’s a whole world out there, waiting to be visited, explored, tasted, and experienced... If only I had the resources...
So plans were concieved, books were looked at, read and digested, web sites scoured, holiday brochures gazed upon, and thoughts of tropical sunsets and long tall glasses of magical concoctions dreamed of.
Should I backpack, across distant lands, and try and relive my youth, but that would mean youth hostels and such. or should I become one of the new brand of middle aged hippies who like to ‘wander ‘but with all mod cons? ( we are getting old ya’know!)
Should I sail down the Nile on a tradtional Felucca and visit the Pharaohs, or travel across Australia, and come face to face with Kangaroos? Should I fly across to new Zealnd, to see the Tattooed faces, and follow in the footsteps of the inhabitants oif Middle Earth? Oor head across to Miami and see if I could get my own special Ink!
What about a cruise around the Caribbean, or the Arctic Circle, could I make it for the Northern Lights?
Should I travel by train across Europe, all the way down through France and Spain to see the Alhambra and the Arabian delights of Southern Spain, – and then perhaps across to Africa?
All of these would be wondrous things to do, they would be wonderful places to go and I am sure there would be amazing people to meet!. ...
Then one day while looking at a map of the UK, I realised, that instead of travelling across the world, I should travel across my own lands, my own country. There are so many places I have never visited, seen, or experienced. There are places here in the UK that visitors travel across the globe to see, while I an inhabitant of this Fair Isle, have thought about visiting and indeed heard off.
So then it came to me, instead of taking the BIG journey around the globe I should do it here. I should make my journey one where I travel/visit 50 places, here in the UK, and all before I am 50 years old
So then I had to decided on a set of criteria for the project, for this journey, and these are:
1. Any place I visit must be a place of interest, it must have something to offer, historical or otherwise. It should be a place with a 'view' whatever that may mean, it can be industrail or rural, by the sea or in the hills.
2. It should be place where I can stop, stretch my legs and have a good look round, - it has to be a place that I can 'experience'.
3 It can be a city, a town, a village or a hamlet...but it must be an actual place and not just a neighbourhood etc.
4. It must be a place where I have never been before, - I may have passed through it on a journey, but it must be somewhere that I have never actually walked around/visited.
5. I have to stop and get out of the car, train or whatver mode of transport I have used to get there.
6. I should be able to get a drink and/or something to eat - preferably tea and a piece of gluten free cake.
7. I have to record the visit, and so need to take photographs of the place, the things I see, and especially one of myself which shows the name of the place I am visiting.
8. I have to spend some time in the place I visit, - this could be a day trip, a weekend away or even an hour or two.
Like many things, I started to talk about this journey over six months ago, but have left it and left it till I only have less than six months to complete it - procratination moi? I don't know what you mean *smile*
So hold on to you hats, it's gonna be a mad dash... as I travel too as many places as I can.. . and try to meet and talk with lots of new people, and fingers crossed I manage to get to the 50th places before 4.28pm on November 24th 2009.
EDIT- all suggestions encouraged.... please leave details of any place you think I would like to go in the comments, please include details of tea room etc.. that you think may be of interest; I can't promise I will get to visit them all but I will have a jolly good try - oh and I will take pics when I'm there!