I’ve always thought that one of the peculiarities of travelling is that quite often the activities we enjoy doing in other countries are the things we never get around to doing at home.
When I’m in another country one of my favourite past-times is just sitting in a cafe and people-watching. At home I always feel too busy to do that. When I’m away I love to go out dancing; at home I rarely do. In other cities I talk to strangers all the time, whereas back in the UK I tend to curb my chattiness so as not to scare my fellow countrymen too much.
Another thing I love to do in other countries is visit museums. I like to find out more about the history of a place and get a feel for its people. Often it’s the local artists who perfectly capture the spirit of a country.
One of my favourite museum memories is when a Colombian guide took me around the Museo Botero in Bogota. The exhibitions include lots of pieces by Colombia’s most famous artist Fernando Botero, as well as a number of works by other artists which he has donated from his personal collection. Despite the fact that my guide visited the museum regularly, he was still completely in awe as he showed me a piece by Picasso. “Imagine,” he whispered, “a Picasso in Colombia!”
Since returning from my travels I’ve tried to make more of an effort to visit some of the amazing museums we have access to here in the UK. We are so lucky to have such a rich history and so many beautiful artworks.
Recently I visited the British Tate, which features pieces by some of the country’s most well-known artists, including David Hockney, Henry Moore and William Blake.
It was the first time we’d been to the museum and, after admiring the stunning Grade II listed building, we began our visit with a free tour. We were shown a few of the museum’s key pieces by an extremely enthusiastic guide called Janet. By taking us around just a few of the works she brought the place alive for us and I would highly recommend the tour.
There were lots of pieces which stood out to me but the one which I really connected with was The Restless Image by Rose Finn-Kelcey. To me, it seemed to bring to life the freedom of travel and encapsulated the child-like nature of the human spirit.
Taking a few hours to appreciate some of the beautiful artwork the UK has to offer reminded me how fortunate I am to live here and made me understand why millions of visitors flock to our museums every year.
What are your favourite things to do when you’re travelling which you could do at home?