One of my aspirations for this year is to be more active. I wouldn’t class myself as a couch potato, and I often have days where I’m so busy I don’t get a chance to sit down until ten in the evening, but I’m not really big on exercise. I have rare occasions where I feel like going for a run or something equally as crazy, but generally there are other things that I would be rather doing than pounding the pavement and feeling like I’m going to die. I drive to most places purely down to saving time and convenience, but I really love going for long walks. So I think that this may be the key to keeping active.
We recently signed up to become members of the National Trust and they have some lovely sites all across the country. They are always beautifully maintained and their manor homes are so opulent. I feel like making a commitment to become a member of the National Trust has encouraged me to search out new places to go for a mooch around and I intend to visit many National Trust sites this year. Since we became members, we have visited both Waddesdon Manor and the Ashridge Estate twice. The great thing is that many of their sites are dog friendly, so we can bundle Holly in the car and take her with us.
The other brilliant thing about it is that we spend quality time together, making memories and having a chat. It’s really lovely to soak up the precious moments where we aren’t in a hurry to go anywhere and can just be together. Life is both unpredictable and short, so we need to make the most of it.
Some of the National Trust places are free too, like the Ashridge Estate, so it makes for a very cheap day out even if you aren’t a member.
We quite like to venture out into the countryside a bit, leaving the big lights of London behind us with its cluttered streets and polluted air. I’m sure that it is a case of ‘the grass is always greener’ (literally), but there’s something magical about escaping to the country and we always dream about living in one of the quaint villages that we drive through on our way to our destination with its cosy pubs and community feel.
The four of us spent a couple of hours enveloped in nature, feeling the squelch of mud beneath our boots and looking at tree formations (I know this sounds ridiculously boring, but nature is a wonderful thing, honest!). We laughed as we struggled to catch our breath climbing up steep hills, our wellies losing their grip in the muddy terrain. The air was fresh and it was blissfully peaceful.
It was so refreshing to leave ordinary life behind and just embrace not just time together, but time itself with our only worry being that we would get lost and forget our way back to the car (which thankfully didn’t happen).
I can’t wait to get out and about exploring this year, especially when the weather brightens up!
Are there any places that you like to visit?