It’s no secret I like to explore new places.
And when I moved back to Nottingham I told myself I wanted to see more of the city and county than I did while living here as a student. In my first few months I’d ticked off the most obvious touristy bits – the castle, the City of Caves and Galleries of Justice.
Friends would laugh when I told them how I spent my weekends or my day off work visiting these places. They found it strange I would head off on a day out by myself and stranger still that I even enjoyed seeing these things. Some of them had lived in this city all their life and had only been to the Galleries on a school trip as a child and others had never been at all, which I found astounding. There were places just around the corner from where they lived that they’d never been to.
Soon I started to venture further afield out of the city. There were so many parks and other places I’d never heard of before that certainly deserved a look around too. So I started to make a list, which soon became known as Dish’s Days Out list.
I slowly worked my way through it whenever I had a day or afternoon spare and wanted to get out and about. Usually armed with my camera (or phone) a book and a picnic I would head off on my own mini adventure.
Some days I just picked a park to walk around or a monument I waned to see, and other days I travelled a bit further afield and went to an Abbey or for a long walk by the river. Some days I would just drive to a new area I hadn’t been to before and wander around taking in the local shops and cafes.
And when I thought of something I wanted to see, I added it to the list.
Soon I felt I knew more about the area I now called home and was slowly becoming more acquainted with its history, the people who lived here and its charm.
It’s never made sense to me how people can live in a place without really knowing anything about its past or knowing about what’s on their doorstep. Even in my own hometown I would go wandering and exploring when I could, curious to find out more about the place I lived.
My days out are a great way for me to switch off, learn something new and see more of the area without having to wait for my friends to find the time to join me. There’s nothing wrong with packing a bag and going off for a day out on your own. You have some time to think for yourself, some quiet time to enjoy your surroundings and get a chance to get out without having to wait for someone else to be free.
While I’m still a traveller at heart, these days out closer to home prove that you don’t always have to venture far or get on a plane to explore a new place or learn new things about a place.
Sometimes just getting familiar with the area you call home can be a much more fulfilling and worthwhile adventure.