You don’t need me to tell you that Corona Virus has changed the world, irrevocably. I was consulting in Nepal and had taken a couple of weeks to fulfill a dream of seeing wolves in India when the news started to escalate. I made the decision to come back to the UK, I have an elderly father and felt that it was the right place to be and I feel that I have made the right decision. As with most people, the last six months have seen an array of emotions, knee jerk reactions, despondency, guilt, the list goes on and I think it has taken some of us a lot of time to find our coping strategies. Many of us have had to forge new paths or seek a new perspective in our existing worlds.
I, as with many people, have gone through many twists and turns over the last few months, travel has been my world for twenty-eight years. But then last week, I decided to sign up for a photography course, I have a new camera and it was time to brush up on my skills, plus it was an excuse to get out and explore, in my own back yard.
You see, they say a lifetime is not enough to discover India and they would be right. I have spent twenty-two years trying to discover as much as possible and have garnered a reputation for getting off the beaten path, discovering the real India, meeting people, and finding stories that many have not expected. It has been extraordinary.
Yet now, I am back in Yorkshire. I left when I was eighteen, firstly to London for higher education then onto do a ski season which turned into six, then back to London in search of a “proper” job and then in 2006 I moved to India where I lived for the next 12 years or so.
What I actually discovered on my photography course were places I’d heard about but had no concept of. Of course, I know Yorkshire is beautiful and I am incredibly proud to be from here. But this day kick-started something in me. The destinations we visited were spectacular, I felt the familiar bubbling of excitement, there was history attached at every turn, my sixth sense, the one that can spot a story started twitching. I came home and chatted with dad, his knowledge of the region and the anecdotes he has to go with that are fascinating and fun. I was hooked. Travel doesn’t have to be across oceans or traversing great landmasses, it is so often in our back yard, we just fail to see it.
From now on, I am going to attempt to set aside one day a week to discover more about this extraordinary county of my birth. I’ve been told a lifetime won’t be enough, from the limited research I’ve done so far it seems that it will certainly be a challenge, but I am an obsessive explorer, so let’s see how it goes. I will be sharing my findings here and I am delighted to be finally bringing travel home.