Introducing Heidi In Transit
1st January 2018
Welcome to my new travel blog site, where I will be sharing my travel adventures both here in the UK and throughout the rest of the world. One of my resolutions for 2018 is to do more of what makes me happiest and this site is a reflection of that. It’s such a labour of love for me, where I am indulging my passions for writing, photography and travel, and I hope that my experiences inspire you to see more of the world or even your own city, region or country. I often think it’s too easy for us to become so caught up in the day-to-day living of our lives that we forget to look up and out beyond what we know. Travel changes us, in ways that reverberate throughout the rest of our lives. And we become better people because of it.
I’ve been travelling my entire life, and almost always as a solo traveller, yet what galvanised me to start this blog was my frustrating experience planning a two-month trip to Australia.
I simply could not easily find the resources I was looking for to help me plan this trip. The specialist tour companies – who I thought would help me plan the bespoke trip I wanted – gave me almost exactly the same (vanilla) itineraries. I would have happily paid a premium if they were able to save me the time looking for and booking the 8 domestic flights, the 15 separate accommodations, the car hires, the special guided tours, and the scuba diving on 2 coasts – in other words, giving me the trip I wanted. But, for example, even though I was specific about boutique hotels or B&B accommodation, and private or small guided tours, they tried to put me into over-priced chain hotels and 100-person coach tours. I was appalled. And extremely frustrated.
But the experience made me realise how the travel industry as a whole just doesn’t do a great job for women like me who prefer travelling solo. We want to travel independently but not always completely on our own, and we simply don’t like the kinds of packaged tours that proliferate.
Furthermore, as I was doing all my research for the trip online, the bulk of the travel blogs out there were either written by or focused on the budget backpacker at one end, the high-end luxury traveller at the other, or couples.
Where are all the blog posts from women like me?
We are mostly between 45 and 65 years old, and though we may be younger or older, we certainly don’t define ourselves in terms of our age. We may have husbands or partners who don’t like to travel, or we may be divorced, widowed or life-long singles. We may have tried travelling with a friend or companion but for whatever reason have found it too challenging or stressful. We may have done less travelling over the past decade as we’ve raised our families and/or progressed our careers. But whether the travel bug is a new acquaintance or an old friend, we are independent and individual, and we are no longer willing to wait for someone to come along with us.
I actually prefer travelling solo. I can suit my own timetable, I’m on no one else’s schedule, I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs or comfort. It doesn’t matter if I walk too slowly, rest too often, or not at all. I can sit and contemplate an intriguing view or an interesting sculpture for as long as I like. I can stay in the same place taking all the photographs I want instead of hurriedly snapping off pictures here and then dashing off to there.
I can take my time.
It doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t see everything. It’s not a race, it’s an experience. I want adventure but not in the same ways I did when I was in my 20s. I want to be safe, but I don’t want to be cocooned. I want to be comfortable, but I also want to get outside my comfort zone.
In Search of Serendipity
Serendipity is quite possibly my favourite word in the entire English language. This wonderful word was coined in 1754 by Horace Walpole, after reading a Persian fairy tale – The Three Princes of Serendip – where the heroes ‘were always making discoveries… of things they were not in quest of’.
I’ve called my blogsite ‘Heidi In Transit’ because even though travel by its very nature has a destination, for me the real joy of travel is what I find along the way. I’m in search of serendipity, those happy and unexpected discoveries that are made by accident. I’ve come across surprising places that take my breath away. I’ve discovered things about myself and the world that I never knew existed or were possible. It’s those spaces in between where the magic happens and it has nothing to do with place or time at all.
I hope you find my travels inspiring and informative. I will do my best to give you as much information as I can so you can plan your own adventures. But at heart I’m a storyteller; so more than anything else I will be telling both the stories I find and the stories I imagine. I’m also a keen photographer so I will similarly share with you my photographs of the wonder and joy I experience along the way.
My father always used a phrase for both a greeting and a parting, much in the same way we say Cheers here in the UK or Aloha is expressed in Hawaii. I’ll be signing off my blog and social posts with this phrase and I encourage you to join me.