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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Maybe it's time to learn a little Chinese?

This blog is about low-carbon family travel. Staying home shouldn't be a barrier to getting prepared for meeting people. Here Nicola Baird considers whether to challenge the family to take a few Chinese lessons with the aid of a new Mandarin book.

In my house language is learnt via the washing up sink - the moment I put on my rubber gloves on goes a different radio channel. For the past few months the dishes have been soaped, scrubbed and rinsed to a lot of terrible French pop music. Perhaps it's time for a change?

Learning Mandarin has never been top of my to do list - but I do like celebrating the Chinese New Year and in 2015 it will be Thursday, 19 February (when the honours go to the goat.) Perhaps there's time for me - and the kids - to learn a few phrases by then? It'd be fun to listen to people greeting each other in China Town or start to hear the words used at a Chinese restaurant.

If you love to eat delicious Chinese food (pork and fish in this pic) isn't it just courtesy
 to have a go learning a few words as well as how to use chopsticks? 
As a friend, Elinor Greenwood, has recently written a book to get children learning Chinese maybe I should give her language lessons a go? I like the way they are described as "fun" and "easy". As for the stickers and app that it comes with, well they'll be a great way to ensure my daughters join in too...

You can order Fun and Easy Chinese from Amazon.

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