There’s been a significant change. The evenings are dark by 7pm and the weather is more volatile. It’s desperately predictable how the British people begin to remark on the colour-changing leaves, and I can’t help but say to myself in a foreboding northern accent:
winter is coming
Having spent the first few months of 2018 backpacking in India and South East Asia, it’s been an interesting contrast to spend almost 100 nights travelling my home island of Great Britain. And although sharing a dorm with 11 strangers wearing harem pants* and locating their inner chakra is fulfilling and educational, it’s been bliss to have my own bedroom (and kitchen, living room, office, transportation etc).
*I have harem pants. They’re exceptionally comfortable.
I have also been able to appreciate the luxury of not having to pack/unpack a bag on a daily basis; instead, my few material possessions and clothes have been in their designated spot in the van for my convenience.
Much as I have the capacity and mentality to spend the harsh British winter living in Groggy the campervan –
I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king
– my tour has come to its natural end and I’m inclined to pursue a warmer climate for my next adventure.
Before I do, this feels like my cue to reflect on Becky Jo’s Great British Tour, which started in May and is now coming to a close.
Whilst on my road trip around England, Wales and Scotland, I am proud to say that I climbed the highest peak in each country, attended 3 festivals, drove to Land’s End in the south west and John O’Groats in the north east, shared parts of my journey with a few of my family and friends, and made many friends along the way, some of whom I hope to stay in touch with for years to come.
A sincere apology to those who wanted to join me for a leg of my journey but I had to decline – don’t take it personally!
I discovered some places I am determined to revisit (and some to the contrary) and I sadly had to bypass some areas I hope I will see one day. If you ever get the chance to travel any of Great Britain, I highly recommend it because we live in an extraordinary place and we are a socially fascinating race. Hybrid and welcoming and painfully reserved, we are a nation of dry wit and are world leaders in the use of the understatement.
Groggy was my chosen method of residential transportation, and although live-in vehicles aren’t to everyone’s taste, the practicality and liberation of a little campervan is inarguable, so I therefore recommend dedicating at least a couple of nights in your lifetime to the joys of motorhoming.
I was inspired to buy Groggy a few years ago when the brother of my best friend was in a near-fatal car accident. I had always wanted a campervan, and that ordeal made me realise that life is too short to recklessly squander it merely existing.
So what next for Groggy? Well, he has earnt a well-deserved break and will probably be temporarily decommissioned until the frost thaws from UK soil – unless one of my adoring fans wishes to ship Groggy somewhere warmer? Perhaps crowdfunding is the answer. I’m not ruling it out.
What next for Beej? I hope to continue freelancing as a copywriter (Your Word Gurus) and I don’t intend to stay still for too long. Watch this space. #DigitalNomad
If this were a Hollywood film, I’d conclude with a monologue on what I’ve learnt about myself. The camera would start focussed on my face as I sit on a Greyhound bus with my head resting on the window, then it would pan out so you could see my thousand-yard stare across the landscape while I narrate my intrapersonal epiphanies.
I’d start with how I’m grateful for my health, my privileges and my family, then I’d move on to describe how independent travel taught me empathy. I’d conclude with a few lines of wisdom about human kindness and open-mindedness and how time is precious and is not to be abused or taken for granted.
But that’s not my style, so I’ll leave you with this nugget of advice by which I try to live:
Try anything once.
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