This is my monthly summary post with high points of the month, not-so-high-points and what’s next for Soul Travel Blog.
March has been a month of adjustments. Of adjusting to life back in London, mainly. Adjusting to the weather, adjusting to things costing 10 times what I’m used to them costing. It’s also been about finding new spots to work from and new views to photograph.
But it’s also been about meeting up with a lot of old friends whom I haven’t been able to spend much time with for the last few years. And most of all, it’s been about re-discovering new sides to the city I thought I knew very well from growing up here.
When I came back to London at the end of February, honestly, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Coming “home” always feels like a bit of a shock after travels in far away lands. But over the last month, I’ve slowly re-found my love – or certainly appreciation for – London. It can be a tough city to get on in and (despite the stereotypes of British Politeness) people can be downright rude. But it’s also a very beautiful place. One of the most transformative moments from over the last month that brought me around to this realisation was my experience with Street Wisdom, a social enterprise who run ‘Mindfulness Walks’ in cities across the world. Looking down onto the Victoria Embankment during a moment on that walk, I realised that London is a pretty good place to be!
I’ve also had the chance to visit attractions that I didn’t know existed, such as Spitalfields City Farm – the only farm inside London’s “square mile” but part of a big network of farms, gardens and spaces dedicated to keeping nature inside one of the world’s largest cities.
Where I’ve been in March.
- London, England – exploring new and old corners of it, and generally catching up on blog content and working!
- Amsterdam, Netherlands – to see friends and check I could still remember how to speak Dutch and ride my bike (I can). Also to sell (some of) my worldly possessions (that were taking up space from my “previous life” inside a storage lockup) at a flea market there!
- The Peak District, England – to get some real fresh air. Just a short journey from central Manchester, the Peak District boasts some of (what I think is) the most beautiful countryside in England. I’m lucky enough to have family there which gives me an excuse to visit regularly. Manchester is also only 2.5 hours on the train from London, and cheap tickets can be had if you book well in advance.
It’s got to be exploring the Peak District in some of the most beautiful spring weather. England (and especially not the Northern half) is not known for its good weather, so I got very lucky with days of back-to-back sunshine in which to explore the hills! Needless to say, in true British spirit, half the people were already dressed in their summer clothes, although the temperature was about 15 degrees in the daytime…
One of the most beautiful walks I did was a section of The Pennine Way, starting from ‘Snake Pass’ – so named because of the winding road, no snakes around here… The walking is pretty easy going on this trail – there is a clear path.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly “outdoors” person. Much as I love nature, I also like some of my creature comforts. While I was in the Peak District, I did want to give bivi-ing (sleeping outside without a tent, but with a bivi bag – which is water and wind resistant) a try. Camping is not allowed in the Peak District National Park, but bivi-ing is generally ignored as long as you leave no trace!
Last time I slept in a bivi bag was about 18 years ago when I was 15 (you do the maths). This time, we found what we thought was a relatively sheltered spot, only to be woken up in the middle of the night to a howling wind pummelling down from directly above. So a night of little sleep and a lot of cold later, the wind had gotten the better of me.
Fortunately it was only an hour’s walk back to my warm bed in the morning, and I got to see some beautiful morning light spread over the moorland (see main picture). Next time, I’d pick a less drafty spot!
March Blog Posts.
I’ve been catching up on some of my India travels:
- Discovering the ‘real’ desert in Rajasthan.
- Chandelao Garh: Staying in a Rajasthani Village.
- An Ethical Travel Guide to Rajasthan, India.
March Posts in Other Publications.
- Eco Yoga in the Highlands of Scotland, Immersion Travel Magazine.
- A Royal Stay in Rajasthan, Immersion Travel Magazine.
Instagram Post of the Month.
I visited the City Palace of Udaipur – the City of Lakes in Rajasthan, first thing when it opened in the morning during my visit. Getting in early paid off with this shot!
Once inside the City Palace of #udaipur, scenes like this await – of tiled floors, painted murals, and a beautiful Zenana (womens' palace). At over 400 years old, the palace has witnessed much – from Elephant fights which were organised in the grounds (fortunately no longer!!) to seiges from both the Mughals and later the British. Nowadays, it's just a beautiful place to absorb some of the history and wonderful views out onto the lake! #soultravelblog
Now that i’m enjoying London again will I be staying here? I doubt it. London’s lifestyle and prices are a little too high end for me, and besides I like to keep moving. I’ll be here for the next couple of months while I finalise my next travels and work on some exciting plans!
Thank You for Reading!
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