Welcome to Ditch the Map!
My name is Lou and I am fairly certain that I should have been a nomad. I have lived in various towns and cities in the UK and was born in the south but raised in the north so I have much love for both the top and bottom of the country. I spent the last 13 years living on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, for which I consider myself very lucky (it’s gorgeous!), but recently moved back to mainland UK and am living back in the north! After such a long time in one place, I am once again feeling the desire to move so watch this space, you never know where I’m going to end up!
So, where did it all start? Well, since I was a child I’ve had itchy feet. The desire to keep moving and exploring has followed me into my thirties and it’s showing no signs of letting up; in fact, it appears to be getting stronger! I am of the opinion that the world is here to be seen and that humans benefit massively from experiencing different cultures, landscapes, architecture, languages, histories and worldwide culinary delights, to name but a few.
I am certainly not what I would consider to be worldly and I haven’t visited every continent, but I do consider myself to be well travelled in terms of the countries I have visited and the experiences I have been lucky enough to have. I’m a complete believer in taking the path less travelled and experiencing countries, cities and towns through the eyes of its locals. This is not to say that I avoid all tourist attractions as some of them are a real sight to behold, but as a general rule I will, whenever possible, dive head first into situations and places outside of my comfort zone, for that is where the most interesting part of life begins.
The reason behind the name is a real ‘what it says on the tin’ deal: ditch the map. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean literally start tearing up your collection of maps in a moment of madness, but instead to avoid planning every part of your trip and allow time to explore without the constraints hectic schedules. In everyday life, we spend so much time trying to fit in mundane tasks, so wouldn’t it be nice, when we went on holiday, to wake up in the morning with no plans and just see where the day takes us? That’s my philosophy: it’s that basic. No schedule, no checklists.
Possibly the most surprising thing about me, given my love of travel, is that I am absolutely, categorically, hyperventilatingly, petrified of flying. I step foot on a plane only when it’s absolutely necessary and there is no other means of transport. I am one of these irrational people that would drive from the UK to Greece rather than get on a plane. The benefit of this is that I have heaps of experience when it comes to boats, trains and automobiles (only in terms of using them as a mode of transport – please don’t ask me for mechanical advice – you will either be very disappointed or end up with a very broken vehicle), so for those of you who are part of Club Petrified-of-Flying, I will be dishing out advice on alternative transport methods!
Now, not to want to contradict myself, but I love maps. I do. I absolutely love them. However, I don’t generally use them to plan a trip or journey, I use them purely to keep tabs on the places I have visited. This has become such an obsession for me that, no matter how many places I visit, I want to add another pin! I would advise all travellers to do this because, if travelling is your thing, it gives you such a sense of accomplishment and the drive to keep saving those all important pennies for your next trip!
The purpose of this blog is to offer real-life accounts of worldwide destinations, honest recollections of experiences, tips and guidance for your travels, amusing anecdotes from those who have steered off the beaten track, recommendations for attractions, food and drink and the opportunity to tell your stories. This is not an exhaustive list and I sincerely hope that our readers will benefit from and enjoy reading about our experiences. The stories posted here will be from my own accounts and occasionally from those of my friends and family.
If you have travel experiences that you’d like to share, please check out the ‘Submit a Review’ page and get in touch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a location that’s already been covered, it’s always good to have a variety of accounts!
Now grab a cuppa/wine/beer/lemonade, get comfortable and prepare to soak up some gorgeous photos and comical tales from the world of travel!
Thanks for reading!