Hi, I’m Kate and I’m the Social Media Manager at We Drifters. I fully embrace the We Drifters mission to live life and travel on your own terms. It’s a huge reason why I enjoy working for the company so much! In normal times, I live and breathe all things travel and can often be found packing my backpack to escape on an adventure whether it be for a weekend, a week or even longer! The pandemic and tragic events of the last year certainly put the brakes on my jet setting, but it didn’t dent my enthusiasm for living life and travelling on my own terms, it just redefined what that looks like.
So, read on to learn more about what living life and travelling on my own terms means to me and how I’ve adapted in the last year.
I guess I should start at the beginning when I was 9 and travelled abroad for the first time. I went to France with my family and fell in love with it! The food, the culture and being able to practise the tiny bit of French that I had learned at school had me hooked! From that moment, I made it my life’s mission to take every opportunity to travel. I got a Saturday job in a hairdressers when I was 13 and saved up to go on every school trip abroad that I could. As soon as I was 16, I began to travel abroad by myself and never looked back.
After 41 countries visited, 3 continents lived in and 4 languages learned I guess that my galavanting was already starting to slow down a bit pre-pandemic. I have been living in Bristol for the last 4 years which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my adult life! However, capturing the feeling that travelling provides will always be a priority. I have developed practices during the last year which have helped me to capture that sense of freedom, joy and adventure that I used to believe only travelling abroad could bring.
1. Finding joy in my hometown
One of the joys of travelling is being able to wonder at the new and exciting things that you see, hear, feel, smell. However, being restricted to staying local for most of the last year has helped me to take time to appreciate the wonderful place that I live in and discover new and exciting things on my own doorstep. From exploring hidden local park spaces, to enjoying epic walks around the city, I have discovered new things about the city in which I live and this has brought me so much joy.
2. Travelling on my own terms
Like everyone, I have had to combine travelling and living life on my own terms with travelling and living life on the government’s terms – or at least according to their regulations – this year. For me, travelling on my own terms is all about having adventures, being spontaneous (also somewhat difficult this year!) and meeting new people.
Normally, I’m the person who likes to stay late at a sight or town when all of the tour groups have left, I love to wander around a place and get a bit lost without feeling like I have a time restraint and I like being free to choose exactly where to eat and when to eat.
Obviously, lockdown and the restricted reopening of bars and restaurants does not lend itself to spontaneity, so I’ve had to get creative. I’ve taken to creating my own bar on my doorstep on a sunny evening which has been a great way to get to know more of my neighbours (socially distanced, of course!). Also, going for walks with friends with flasks of tea and a few biscuits in my pocket has still allowed for spontaneity and freedom, just in a different way than I was used to.
3. Learning how to relax
For me travel has always been an escape from normal life. A chance to get away from the responsibilities of daily life and to almost become a different, cooler, more relaxed person. Not being able to travel or go on holiday like I normally do has forced me to look at how I am in my daily life. I’ve developed balance in my routines and have started meditating, painting and gardening to help me relax and disconnect from my very digital life. It’s not quite sipping sangria on the shores of some far off country, but it’s perhaps better. Because travel now isn’t about escaping from life, it’s just a joy in itself. Just like my everyday life is becoming more of a joy in itself too.
I would love to know what “being free to live life and travel on your own terms” means to you and whether you feel like it’s changed during lockdown. Join our travel community of Drifters and leave me a comment!
And… get top travel tips about my home town of Bristol on my blog Where Next Kate.