Visiting all those places you’ve never quite got round to…

Visiting attractions you otherwise would never have the chance to get to when you live overseas is one of those things that’s part of the appeal of moving there in the first place. We’re already making a list of all the places we can’t wait to see and do when we kive in South Africa – from Kruger to whale-watching, the winelands to diving off the coast of Mozambique.

ostrich

Ostrich on the run in South Africa

But what about your home country? Whilst it’s easy to tick off the list of places to visit when you’re living somewhere for a set period of time, many of us go for years without really exploring the place we call our permanent home.

At the moment, we’re in countdown mode. This means we can see the end at last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Or the last suitcase at the end of the hall. Or whatever metaphor or idiom you want to chose. In other words, now we’re in 2015 we can finally say we’re moving to South Africa THIS year.

There’s plenty to do – anyone who has attempted any move at all, let alone an overseas one, will know that. Lists and lists and lists. Flights to book, new passports to order, visas to arrange. House rental, storage, decorators.

But one of the things we really want to try and do – not on the list, but in my head, is get to as many of those places we’ve been saying we’ll visit since arriving home from St Lucia almost four years ago. Before we leave our home country, we want to see a bit more of it.

We’ve already made a good start. Just after Christmas, we were here

DSC_0176

Is it the Eden project or have the aliens landed and laid some eggs?

It was a very chilly day and we were pretty glad to be inside the domes. The tropical dome in particular was a very welcome retreat, although we were also delighted to find the South Africa section inside the Mediterranean dome. And while we kept warm inside the giant structures, we were able to listen to some slightly wacky story-telling and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the venue’s open-plan kitchen restaurant.

Under the dome

Under the dome

The bonus was that even though, due to the sub-zero temperatures outside, we didn’t see much more of the sea than a bit of vague blue in the distance, we did find the most amazing pub for our dinner (the Polgooth Inn). Here, we had one of those roaring-fire, home-cooked-meals that we Brits do so well, and that we’ll be dreaming of once we’re happily ensconced in our new Pretoria home.

The next place we hope to visit before we leave is Longleat – possibly at Easter, a chance to take the girls on a “practice” safari and hopefully for me to try my hand at using our new camera lens to take photos of moving animals…I’m also really keen to get back to the War Museum in London – my favourite museum in the world and one I haven’t been to in at least ten years. There’s been about three new wars since then, so I am hoping there’ll be plenty to keep me occupied.

I doubt we’ll have much time for more than that, but I know there are numerous other places we’d all like to visit. We’ll be back in a few years, and they’ll still be there. But whether, without the threat of another immenent move, we ever get round to visiting them is another matter.

Are there any places you regret not visiting in your home country? Anywhere you’re particularly looking forward to seeing once you’re back? How does living overseas compare to being in your home country for tourist attractions?

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