The great thing about travelling light is that you can get to see beyond the routine attractions of sea, sun, shopping and self-indulgence. If it’s just you setting the agenda you can take your time to really get a feel of the character and the culture of different destinations. Experiencing first-hand how people around the world live such different lives is a constant delight. Travelling solo is a way to read beneath the surface. It is a way to live another life.
That said, some places do enrichment in a way that can be more than a little surprising. When we heard the news that a British Quidditch Cup had been held we couldn’t help but do a quick double take. Quidditch? Harry Potter? Flying wizards with magic wands and brooms with names like the Nimbus 2000? You can see why we sat up and took notice.
The British sense of humour
It turns out that the Quidditch Cup isn’t the only quirky sports event that the Brits enjoy. The famous British sense of humour is as alive and well as ever. Only now, it seems to have slipped out of the ‘light entertainment’ category and moved into ‘sports’ instead.
We may have missed the Quidditch Cup this year, but Britain is absolutely bursting with all sorts of weird and whacky festivals and tournaments. We think that taking in a few might help the rest of us understand just what it is that hits the English funny bone.
Up and down the leafy lanes of the English countryside, it seems, the otherwise straight laced folk of Britain are happy to throw themselves body and soul into anything that sounds silly and gives them a chance to either put on fancy dress or to get themselves covered in mud, egg or gravy.
The great thing about travelling light is that you can throw yourself into the heart of a local culture. And the great thing about these Monty Python-like parades of madness is that they invariably welcome all comers.
If you want to get to grips with a stranger covered in gravy, the good folk of Stacksteads in Lancashire in Northern England will make it happen for you in August.
If you yearn to gurn (pull your most epic face) there is a date set for that in September.
Whatever your fancy, and however crazy it may be, there will be a quaint English village somewhere that’s already got it on the calendar as their main event of the year.
The British countryside is an easily overlooked destination, but once you start to get to spend some time amongst the natives you will find that they are some of the most engaging as well as eccentric hosts anywhere.
England’s green rolling hills and its characteristically understated charms are well worth taking in. There is, of course, plenty of glitz and glamour in London, but it is only when you get out in the country, and start to spend time with the locals, that you get to see just what it is that makes the British quite as quirky as they are. And the great thing about travelling light is that they won’t hesitate to encourage you to join in with them – whatever they’re doing!