Boybands aren’t generally known for profound lyrics, but I think 90s songsters East 17 may have struck musical gold in their ode to the ups and downs of globe-trotting “All around the world”.
The chorus of the rap/pop masterpiece is so true: “I’ve been around the world, but there’s no place like home”. But how often do we really appreciate this?
Whether you live in a big city, small town or rural village, there’s something about that familiarity, being a local, belonging somewhere, that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.
A bit of a strange opener from someone who’s just joined the High Tea Cast team to write about travel perhaps? Please hear me out.
Getting away and heading in the direction of hot weather, is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve been lucky enough to visit some bucket-list worthy destinations in my relatively young life, and there are still plenty more I’d like to get stamped on my passport.
However, seeing as I realistically can’t spend every day laid flat out on a sunlounger, let’s get back to Brian Harvey and his baggy trousered mates. No matter how many amazing places you’ve been, home is where it’s at.
Have you ever been stopped by a stranger on the streets of your town or city and asked for advice on where’s best to eat, drink or shop? Can you answer with confidence and reel off a list of the most stylish restaurants, bars and boutiques, or do you stare at them with a blank face and scrape up a couple of suggestions of places which may or may not still be in business?
To my shame, I think I may fall into the second category. I might not be out tearing up the streets and getting my face known in the coolest nightspots every weekend, but like to think I’m a pretty good ambassador for my place of residence.
Why do I struggle to sell my home turf to an out of towner? Why can I over-enthuse about the amazing clothes-buying and bar-hopping opportunities in Manchester or Birmingham, while poor old Nottingham gets played down? It’s because the grass is always greener, other places always seem better and cooler, and you always want what you haven’t got.
Before I lace this post with far more cliches than is healthy, I think it’s time to stop taking things for granted and make the most of what’s in front of you.
Whether you’ve ended up where you live by choice or by chance, I’m betting there’s a lot you don’t know about that place you call home. So why not become that stranger who stops you on the High Street, and see that familiar place with a fresh pair of eyes? Next time you’re out and about, why not…
Are you stuck in an endless work-home-gym/pub-home vortex? Why not take a different route, and lose your way, deliberately! You never know what you might discover, although please be careful in any dodgy areas in hours of darkness.
Imagine your Dragon’s Den pitch
How would you convince Theo, Duncan and co to part with a large pile of cash to invest in the brilliance that is your home town? Think about what’s great about it, where are the places you most like to go?
Find out something you didn’t know
Even if you’ve lived somewhere all your life, there will always be some untapped facts – historical, geographical or otherwise. Try out a tourist attraction, go somewhere you’d only go if you had visitors staying.
Whether you still live in the place you were born and raised, are a temporary local whilst studying, stayed on after university, or ended up there through work, take a different look at your little corner of the world and be proud of it!
And now to hand you back to East 17. Over to you boys.
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