I heard a story recently about a lady of 91, still hale and hearty, and living in her native county of Shropshire, in the UK. It’s a beautiful place, for sure, but in all of her 91 years, the lady has never left it. Never ventured beyond the county boundaries. Not even to her closest cities: Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham…all within a couple of hours of her home, or to London, only twice as far. So she’s never seen a double-decker bus, a royal palace, a shining, bustling city or the calm magnificence of St Paul’s Cathedral.
And she’s never seen the sea.
She must be quite an extreme example…but it got me thinking about people who, even if funds permit, still prefer to stay close to home. An acquaintance of mine once said she wouldn’t travel abroad because she never ate anything she couldn’t spell.
I threw the topic open on Twitter and Facebook, asking:” Apart from the money aspect, what stops you travelling abroad? Is it airports, maybe….the food….not speaking the language? ”
As ever, the responses were swift, with seasoned traveller @quarryhousebnb proclaiming that “nothing” would put her off venturing abroad!
For others though, there was caution, and some understandable reasons why flying abroad didn’t work so well for them.
Security was cited by @peterctid; echoed by and and developed a bit by @iantyorks. Ian admitted he was “fairly risk averse..” but said he was most concerned about personal security in the light of attacks on tourists, hotels and aircraft. “It sounds wimpish, ‘being careful'”, wrote Ian, “but our first grandchild has given us different priorities.It doesn’t stop me travelling,” he added…”I’m just a lot more careful about where I go.”
The practicalities of air and long distance travel for wheelchair users and others with mobility issues were highlighted by @Okeating ,who has arthritis and finds it hard to sit for any length of time without subsequent discomfort, and by @AMinorMuddle . “For me,” she wrote, “it would be concerns about health, access, and how my wheelchair would be treated by airlines.” Sarah has enjoyed a number of great rail trips around the UK, however, with help from rail staff…and has one more Scottish trip coming up soon.
Work commitments popped up a couple of times, notably by small business owners @purplefletcher and @AAC_Donna, while @HilsJones1 said problems caring for their dogs, along with a love for the wide range of UK attractions and a dislike of airport waits, influenced their holiday choices the most.
Airport delays were a recurring theme, also mentioned by @HefinR and in this tweet from @engcountrylife : “The necessity of security is fine–the unsmiling rudeness, and delays is unnecessary”. But for @DaddyPerry , a worrying mid air experience on a plane approaching Madrid had unnerved his wife; to the extent that they usually opted for UK breaks now, although he added that he was “trying to gently coax her to the Costas in the summer…”
Co-writer of thetimeofourlives.net Nigel has clocked up plenty more airmiles than me. He cited corruption as the only thing that would put him off. “Having to bribe police officers or other officials is so alien to life in the UK, that it would put me off the joy of travelling …”
As far as I’m concerned, I’m more than happy to try most kinds of food around the world, and prepared to have a go at speaking different languages, wherever we go. But I`m not the most confident airline passenger. As you might have read in The Tuscany Test …I sometimes need some reassurance at take-off and landing. Oh, and if there’s turbulence. And I draw the line at boarding small aircraft. I just wouldn’t feel confident enough. Apart from that? Well…with more than 32,000 miles of flights booked for this year’s big adventure…nothing’s going to stop me seeing the world.
PS: If you’re one of the long list of people who responded with your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, thankyou very much, and also for the top travel tips you contributed–they’ll be in a separate post very soon. Here’s how you can be sure not to miss it! Follow us now and receive an email when we post something new! Just hit the blue Follow button on the top right hand side of this page (Followers will also get entered automatically into our next prize draw! )
Coming up soon on thetimeofourlives.net From packing without tears.. to coping with a lost phone: fantastic travel tips from our followers…….Now boarding (with butterflies ): those airline courses for nervous flyers…..Mapping the route: Check out our round the world itinerary for this autumn’s big trip….. Be our guest(post)! Help and advice from an expert on emptynesting…….