Haven’t written a travel linkup post in a while, not had a chance, but I wanted to make time for it this month. If you’re a blogger linkups are known as great tools to share content amongst others in the blogosphere. But I love them purely because it gives me a set topic to write about, something I probably wouldn’t have thought of writing otherwise. It’s a nice change from the norm and I love reading everyones interpretations from a single brief.
This months theme is all about places we can’t get out of our heads.
Where the heck do I begin?
Is there even such a thing as ‘a’ place I can’t get out of my head?
If you’ve been blessed enough to have the opportunity to travel and travel often, I can’t imagine ever dreaming about just the one place.
After re-discovering a pile of old family passports, it was quite amazing to find that I had forgotten about places I’d been and there was so much I was unaware of as a child. My mum and dad shared stories when I questioned them about that time they went to Canada, or Florida or wherever else they had visited that I hadn’t known about before now. In a bid to find out exactly how far out our travels had stretched I’ve been attempting to catalogue the number of countries I’ve been to on instagram, it’s been a stop-start situation – the main difficulty being that just choosing one photo that represents how I feel about a place is so hard. I’ve reached country 21 at the moment, I’ll carry it on once I’m back home and able to dig out more photos. But if choosing one picture is hard, how can I choose one place?
When I first moved to England, I unconsciously dreamt of Bahrain – a random but not so random dream. The vision played on repeat in my sleep for many years actually. Bahrain had been a place we visited regularly as a family, my dad would attend a yearly GM meeting out there and we would all travel with him, enjoying a break at the Meridien hotel. I have vivid memories of our time there, but my dreams were crystal clear and there was a time where I would definitely say this was the place that I genuinely could not get out of my head and had no idea why.
Where do I go on my daydreams though?
Maybe it’s the quiet secluded beach on Tidung, part of the Thousand Islands in Indonesia where we saw turtles, ate fresh fish snacks and basked in the sunshine. Or do I cast myself back to the beautiful Veligandu resort Mo and I stayed at in the Maldives, where out on our private deck I watched, in absolute fascination, as a pod of wild dolphins flew across the horizon. Or maybe its when we got up close and personal with wild dolphins on a fabulous family holiday to Portugal last year? My daydreams do tend to take me back to a number of wildlife-inspired destinations…
Like the plains of Africa. Have I ever been able to get Zimbabwe out of my thoughts? The weeks I spent working with many different African wild species… The time I met my first baby elephant, it’s tiny trunk wrapped round my hands curiously trying to decipher what I was and how we could play. The moments I lay in the lion cub enclosures next to a 5 month old ball of fluff, whose paws flopped around as I rubbed their bellies, eyes closed as I stroked their temples and whose purrs I remember as the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
BUT then I start thinking of purring and I’m reminded of home. Especially now when I’m thousands of miles away, far from my hubby, my fur-baby, my family, who are all going through a bit of a rough time. Over the last few days home has been the only place in my head, the familiarity of being in my own city, especially as just before I flew off I had indulged in two days of touristry (yes I’ve made that word up) in Manchester as part of the #workerbeeweekender.
Looking at where I’m sat now… on a sun lounger, by the pool, 32 degree heat (😏) this is a place I know when I return to England next week, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a hard time shifting it from my mind. But ironically, Dubai has always been a destination that I have never truly understood. This place isn’t my kind of place. Yet 10 days of living with friends (adopted family) in a quiet building, away from the razzmatazz of main Dubai, doing regular things like shopping, cooking, chatting… it’s like a whole new city. I’d even go as far as to say, it feels like home and I’m sure this experience will be another place I won’t be able to get out of my head.
The one thing I’ve come to learn about travel is that there is no place that ever truly leaves me. Even the experiences that I didn’t enjoy, the ones I would never (well never say never) return to, these place still stay with me. In the past I’ve written how smells can take you back to destinations, tastes, products, people, stories… All of these things stay in my head. Just today my mum asked if there was anything here in Dubai I wanted to pick up and take home for myself and I told her the only thing I wanted was the experience. It’s all I ever need (I suppose a couple of zaatar crackers here and there wouldn’t hurt either).
Rather than focusing on past trips, I’ve recently opened an avenue in my mind that makes me constantly dream of future travels. Of the places I haven’t yet been. Greece, Iceland, Poland, Malawi, Turkey…the list goes on. Mo and I both know that the journeys we take in life are what makes us who we are and there is still so much we have to learn.
So what’s the place I can’t get out of my head?
Let’s just assume it’s everywhere that isn’t where I am.
That’s what daydreams are all about though, right?
❤️ For my cousin Hafi who is due to get married tomorrow, I pray that you and your new partner get many an opportunity to explore the world and soak in everything it has to teach you. Good luck on your new adventure! ❤️
The topic for April is one we enjoyed in 2015 – and we fancied it again – ‘Places we can’t get out of our heads’. (And, for those of you who’ve been around that long – has it changed for you? Link back to your old post in your new post, it’s good for SEO!)
How to link up your post
There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging love!
The Travel Link Up is open to all bloggers – as long as the post is relevant!