A-Z activities

A-Z countries

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, 28 December 2016

The joy of lists & travel wish lists

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. We do this in a bid to be less polluting and tackle climate change while at the same time keeping a global outlook. Here's a quick piece about the joy of lists written as a result of five long walks around East Hertfordshire that made me think about wildlife. Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).

Which country has the most dangerous wildlife? (Namibia?) Which has the most animals? (Costa Rica) Which is most likely to start World War 3? (Depends on your politics). Have you seen the Big 5? (said on Safari whilst looking for elephant, lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros.. .). The internet is crazy for Buzzfeed style lists - and I love them too. So while I was in Hertfordshire for the xmas holidays I kept a little list to share with you. Here's what I saw, and wish I could have shown you:
Late afternoon shadows while walking the dog with
one daughter and one husband.

Plaque at the farm shop.

  • 1 kite hovering
  • 3 dead deer on the roadside
  • 1 farm shop (I adore farm shops and Pearce's farm shop between Buntingford and Puckeridge is fantastic, and has a cafe!)
  • 2 great sunrises
  • 3 gorgeous sunsets
  • 1 frost and fog (frog) filled day
  • 1 herd of deer - utterly beautiful as they crossed a field of winter wheat (about 20)
  • 2 red kites (a moment of joy!)
  • 1 toad kept me awake calling for girlfriends (i didn't see him, just heard the noise)
  • 1 farm of alpacas (llamas have banana ears, alpacas look as if they were put together wrong but they have great colourways - the photo shows them in cream, black and chocolate)
  • 1 dead deer on the roadside (another)
  • 40+ ducks quacking on the river

An alpaca farm in Buntingford, Herts run by Herts Alpacas (farmed for their fleece and as breeding animals).
List champions
Even if I think my list of holiday wildlife spots is pretty good, it pales into insignificance compared with my mum's list abilities. Even the list of what's in the deep freezer (1 packet of peas - 10 servings) is considerably more detailed and more often edited. Perhaps better attention to list making could be my 2017 resolution... I still need to visit more of the countries of the world without leaving the UK and adding to climate change.

Over to you?
So, what do you write lists about? Is it the mundane - shopping lists, what's for dinner? Or is the sublime - all those magical animal sightings or, better still, wildlife connection. Or is it the wish list - the places you long to travel whether by mechanised transport or via books, films and you tube? Let me know. And here are some belated seasons greetings too.