When we think of great explorers, we think of their glamourous far-off journeys. Whether it was Christopher Columbus discovering the Americas, Marco Polo in the Far East or Ranulph Fiennes climbing Everest – their adventures have made history. Very likely, our daily adventures won’t be making any headlines, but it doesn’t mean we should stop discovering new things. This weekend, I did exactly that. But instead of journeying off to a totally new location, I decided to explore the same old areas – London (where I lived for 28+ years) and the quintessentially English village in which I now live.
Having lived in London for most of my life, I found that the thrill of the city was simply the norm. There was always some new restaurant opening up and easy access to activities and places to go to. But it was almost a case of too much option. So as many habitants of a city can end up doing, I’d go to my usual haunts and do the same things that I enjoyed, over and over. I’d take friends who were tourists of the city to all the usual tourist traps that everyone gets excited about. But with such a multitude of potential places to explore at my fingertips, this year I decided to re-explore London acting as a returning tourist, this time focusing on some new experiences.
Cue a Saturday afternoon starting off in East London with a game of electronic darts at London’s Flight Club. I had never thought to play darts before, but was intrigued by the game options available and had a great time having some healthy competition (the various rounds ended in a 5-all tie with my friend).
An hour later and after a spot of lunch, we headed to the Museum of Brands in West London. If I hadn’t done some deep digging for things to do in London, I would never have found this small museum tucked away on a side street. It was full of old food packaging, games and radios through the decades. It was incredible to see how the world wars and technology had such an impact on the brand designs and logos that we recognise today.
The following day, I have continued the theme of exploring the same old place for its more minute features, this time in the village outside of London in which I now live. It is a beautifully quaint area, surrounded by green fields and woodlands. In spite of living here for a year, I have done little to properly explore except for visiting one of the better known woodlands. Today, I had change of pace. I visited three of the local woods on foot and discovered new ‘secret’ footpaths that only the locals or those who still buy OS maps would know about (sorry Google Maps, your mapping system fails where these paths are concerned!).
It is amazing what you can miss in your immediate surroundings, purely due to becoming complacent with exploring! My advice for re-energising yourself on an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon is to go out for a walk. Walk down roads you haven’t walked before. See how they link with the roads you do know. Maybe you’ll find a shop or a path or a field or public gardens that you never knew existed. Become the greatest explorer of your area!
P.S. If you live in a rough neighbourhood, please stay safe or perhaps take your explorations to a safer area 😉
Have a happy Sunday!
Bored of bowling? Try social darts at Flight Club: http://flightclubdarts.com
For people who love package design, brands and marketing, visit the Museum of Brands: http://www.museumofbrands.com