Being of the unemployed persuasion, my recent desire to go travelling again cannot really amount to much, unless I take the advice of the Enjoy England campaign and explore my own fine country for a while. Like a lot of travellers, I was struck by the continued aversion to domestic travelling by everyone not a tourist. In NZ, undoubtedly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, I met people who didn’t even seem to see the point in travelling between the country’s North and South Islands. Back then I was astounded by what I saw as a complete lack of curiosity, but then I returned to Blighty and set about thinking of ways to leave it again. If we are familiar with a place, or associate certain things with particular regions (incest in Norfolk, anyone?), then we are less inclined to explore with an open mind. But in the last few years I have visited more of the British Isles then ever before, and there have been very places to which I would be reluctant to return. But that’s travelling, you’re not going to like every single place, but it’s worth your time to give it a chance, just in case it turns out to be the most amazing experience of your life.
So go England. Go Wales. Go Scotland. Go Ireland. Go to every corner of our country, and see if it doesn’t give you a better understanding of what it is to be British. Whether it’s a hike around the Giant’s Causeway, a rugby match at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, a wild night out in Glasgow or a surfing lesson in Cornwall, do it.