Solo Adventure: Chester and Manchester

Thursday 19 March 2015

Nearly a year ago, I travelled to the UK, starting in London, taking a train to Edinburgh, and ending in Chester for a friend's wedding. I've posted already about parts of this trip, but sadly, it's taken me a year to wrap up this series. Check out the other posts here:

London, Edinburgh, and the Scottish Highlands were busy excursions. I darted from landmark to landmark, town to town, in an effort to see as much as I could in my mere week abroad. Thankfully, my friend's wedding was in the outskirts of Chester, in a part of the country ruled by green pastures and lambs, and I was forced to take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery. 

I trudged around Chester, a city of Roman baths and beautiful architecture that lies on the River Dee, near the border of Wales, with my backpack, which was already weighted down by souvenirs. Then I took the greatest bus ride of my life, through tiny towns and over stone bridges, to reach Higher Farm Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful slice of perfection that I hope to one day revisit. I walked. I snapped pictures. I watched lambs chase one another and I relaxed. 

I wasn't planning on going to Manchester. After a week of moving quickly from city to city, the backpack's straps cutting into my shoulders, I was ready to stay in one place. But my flight was out of the Manchester Airport, and in order to get to my airport hotel, I needed to pass through the Manchester Piccadilly train station. I'm one of those people who live in fear of missed opportunities. Knowing it might be my only chance to see Manchester, I couldn't pass it up. I'm glad I didn't.

One quick book blogger anecdote before I wrap up these posts for good. I'm a fairly awkward human being — one who isn't the best at striking up conversations or meeting new people. But of all people in the world standing in the baggage line in the Manchester Airport, I spotted Steph from Bella's Bookshelf. After I checked her Twitter account, and confirmed she, too, was in England, I went to say hello. After meeting Tanya from 52 Books or Bust in Edinburgh a few days before, my first solo European adventure turned out to be way more of a #CanLit adventure than I ever could have imagined.

I'll end these posts with a quote by Terry Pratchett, an author the world lost only last week. It reminds me of the importance of travel, and more so, the importance of travelling alone, giving yourself the chance to escape your comfort zone and see the world in a new way.

"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."
— Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)


  1. Well, thank you. So much. I actually got teary all of a sudden remembering, and looking at your photos. I have an England board on my Pinterest (do we follow each other?) that I pin to daily, and *your* photos are SO alive, I feel like I'm right there again!! The countryside is achingly beautiful but so are the villages and cities, nothing like what we have here! Did you happen to go to York? I still have to read your other posts. I missed them...just as I've missed SO much from too much work.

    I STILL marvel that we met in Manchester, that you recognized me. I AM SO GLAD that it would have been a missed opportunity for you if you hadn't come up to me. :) And your AWESOME yellow boots!! Oh geez. Wouldn't it have been fun if we'd met up earlier and gone book shopping too? I would have loved to tramp the country with you, but I do understand about going alone as well.

    Your experience sounds so excellent. I envy you, really. And can't wait to go back.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. PS. That Pratchett quote.


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