Spending time in big cities is always entertaining; with the hustle and bustle of cars, trains and buses shifting masses of people to work and back again. Walking down a busy street past different vendors, shop fronts, street performers and restaurants serving up cuisine from all over the world is rarely boring. It is the busy cities that are often used to define a country.
A description that has always intrigued me is that “London is the heart of England”. I decided to find out if the rest of the body is anything like its heart.
This led me to the midlands of England. Once there, it wasn’t long before I was on a steam train surrounded by green fields, flowing rivers and large trees the likes of which I’ve never seen. The local accent was so different I felt like I’d travelled three days, not three hours.
From a small village we visited it was just a short walk to the ruins of a castle, and an even shorter walk to find an authentic English pub, just next to the small market where the locals sold their goods by a river.
After a long day taking in the easy-going culture of the village it occurred to me that I had seen the entire place in an afternoon, and compared that to how many hundreds of hours it would take to see the whole of London.
It is these little adventures that remind me of the benefits of living abroad, and the diverse experiences available to all those with a willingness to get out of the city and see what the countryside has to offer.