I grew up in Wales camping. During the 6 weeks, half term or other holiday term time, my Nan would take my cousins and I camping. We’d always stay at the same camp site, I liked it because it had a hose pipe at the bottom of the site which I’d use to soak my cousins.
I’d spend my childhood eating BBQ’s, playing in the sand dunes and falling asleep to a combination of the cows mooing in the nearby hills and a portable TV playing next door. I was too young to appreciate my surroundings.
That was up until about aged 10 and then I stopped doing things like that. My parents split and my family dynamics changed slightly. I spent a lot of time going on holiday with my Nan but I think she got bored of camping and so we upgraded to caravans. Even during my teenage years I spent most of my time at places like Blackpool on the theme parks and mainly more built up places.
I got it into my head that there had to be something; arcades, fairs, pubs or swimming pools even to be ‘entertained.’ The country side was just something that I saw in passing whilst on the train and I didn’t have a desire to go back to it.
It was only about 4 years ago, 2010, around August time (I would have been 20) when I realised I’d missed it. Whilst dating someone who very much lived in the middle of nowhere (it was somewhere to me.) we took a trip to a place in Wales called Llangollen. It’s a picturesque place with a canal running through it and flags everywhere. It’s quite a tourist spot and I hadn’t been since I was a child. I’ve been back loads since but as usual my camera gets left behind!
We took a walk up what I can only describe as a mountain (I now know it better or at least my lungs do, as a large hill.) As you do when you’re a city chick and not used to ‘hiking’ you wear dolly shoes and a dress (like I say I now know better.) It was a glorious day, the sun was hot and I remember there being baby lambs skipping in the fields. We embarked on an acent up this mountain-like-hill with a few cans (Lilt for me.) I don’t think I’d ever climbed something so high, but it was exciting. You just don’t get the chance to do this back in the city.
A good 45 minutes later, we arrived at the top. I can’t describe how beautiful it actually was. The were some old ruins of a castle (as you’d expect in the land of Wales.) I remember sitting right on the edge of this hill, looking down over the entire town. I felt like queen of the castle. It was a patch work of green variations and a back drop of blue skies. The wind ripped and soured and I imagined what it would be like to para-glide up here.
Even though I didn’t move until a year later, I had itchy feet then. I fell in love. I had a desire to acquire head space and to live in the land of the free; you know be a free range human?
Have you ever been somewhere that’s changed your way of thinking – feeling – living?
I have and I now call it home.