It’s difficult to travel lots when you’re working full-time. I know. For me, a couple of weeks holiday a year isn’t enough to feed the travel bug, though, which is why full-time workers with eternal wanderlust have to be creative when it comes to planning trips; long weekends are a great idea – for those of us that are lucky enough to live in the UK, it is a mere hop skip and jump to continental Europe, but even that can get costly and time-consuming.
So, during what seemed like a endless winter and with no travel plans in sight, a few friends and I decided to pack up our cars and stay in a cottage in the middle of nowhere for a weekend. Living in a city, it’s easy to forget how peaceful and rejuvenating the countryside can be and, the further you stay from civilisation, the more refreshed you will feel afterwards. Maybe. Unless you use the beautifully polished wooden table that takes pride of place in the dining room as a beer pong arena.
In between alcohol binges we walked and explored and walked and explored. Our back garden was made complete with not one, not two, but THREE lakes, which were frozen over in the cold weather, as well as a ‘magical’ forest, a boggy marsh and, somewhere in the distance, a shooting range which had us ducking and wincing like rabbits (do they duck and wince?).
Being so close to nature seems to send a serene kind of calm through me, like someone stroking your hair whilst you sleep (but less creepy). We were so lucky with the weather too; despite it being the middle of the English winter with a harsh frost, the sun was shining which made everything look like it was out of a glossy magazine. Lush.
There’s where we stayed! Trust me when I say it was in the middle of nowhere. It was actually supposed to be situated a mere forty five minute drive from my house in Brighton, but with no Sat Nav it took me a good three hours to finally find it. Yeah, I’d been driving up and down the road it was on for at least an hour before I realised there was some Diagon Alley magic needed to ACTUALLY enter. By that point it was dark. You know the kind of dark that suffocates you? The kind of dark that lurks in the countryside? Yeah, that.
It’s quite nice to feel isolated once in a while. You know, to be reminded that there’s a much bigger world out there that most certainly does not revolve around you. The dose of isolation goes down much better with a sunset like this, though. Is it me, or are sunsets generally much better in the countryside?
This was the road leading away from our little cottage. I have no idea where it leads to because, whilst I like being in the countryside, I don’t like feeling as if I’m in a horror film. Or if I do, I like to think I’m smarter than the usual characters who go in search of danger. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? So, for that reason, this road was left unexplored for fear of unearthing some Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque barn.
The best thing about the weekend, by far, was reconnecting with friends. When you all lead such busy lives with varying schedules, it’s so difficult to meet up and spend quality time together. However, if you trap everyone in the middle of nowhere then you HAVE to talk to each other whether you like it or not, lest you go crazy.
So, if you’ve got a weekend spare and not a lot of money but want to get away for a while, why not consider kidnapping all your friends in the boot of your car and driving them to the scene of a horror film? Perfect.
About the author: Lizzie is a full time marketing assistant and part-time travel blogger promoting the ways to get the most out of grab-it-when-you-can travel. She spends her time creatively thinking of ways to plan trips around her job and advocating the idea that you don’t have to be ‘homeless’ to enjoy the perks of frequent travel. Aside from this, Lizzie likes questioning why people travel and the psychology behind it, watching crap American TV programmes, and drinking too much tea (cider). You can find out more about Lizzie here (go on – I know you want to see what’s behind the melon…)