Happiness Begins at Home, Is Travel All It Cracked Up To Be?

It’s often said we can spend our whole life in one place, but how well do we actually know it? We often take for granted our own tourist spots because they are just that, they are seen as tourist hotspots. We become that familiar with the idea of them that we dream more of further afield places than the ones on our doorstop. Don’t get me wrong, we support our country in times of need (I’m a proud Northern Irishman). We wear our football shirts with pride, we help our charities but why don’t we appreciate our glorious sites??

Wearing my Northern Ireland football shirt and flying the flag with pride in Iraq.

Wearing my Northern Ireland football shirt and flying the flag with pride in Iraq.

This year, instead of booking that holiday abroad, why not look a little bit closer to home. If you’re one of my UK readers, try a river cruise in one of England’s most picturesque towns. England has so much to offer, from its cobbled streets in York to its ancient castles to Tower Bridge in the capital. Why not become more familiar with your country and let’s face it, it’s a lot less hassle than sorting the passports out. A river cruise gives you the opportunity to relax while taking in all the sights. Someone else does the driving, you have everything you need almost in reaching distance and there is something quite relaxing about floating along the river. Yes, I’m talking about England here!

Where to go in England:


The capital is perhaps the most sought after tourist spot in the UK. Travellers to England go straight to London wanting to see the Palace, Westminster, Tower Bridge and the Thames. All are beautiful sights and most of us never even think about visiting. Ok, so every now and again, we might have to change over a train in London or pop to a meeting somewhere in the city but how often do we put aside time in our day to go explore? Most people never do and it’s such a shame that others get to appreciate our sights more than us.

Backpacking in London - loving the tube system.

Backpacking in London – loving the tube system.


One of the quintessential signs of being British is living in a small neighbourly village surrounded by greenery. This is quite far from most people’s realities but this is why you could go visit your old English roots and have a cruise through the sites of Yorkshire, stopping off for a trip on an old steam train. Reminisce about the good old days and learn more about your history, a cruise can really help you recapture some of your identity.


Again like Yorkshire, there are so many hidden gems we forget about as time ticks forward. We forget about the old cotton mills trades and the Mancunian canal, created to escape the fairs of the rail. Revisit past time and have a cruise along the Manchester canal. And the Geordie Best statue at Old Trafford 😉

Old Trafford, Manchester.

Old Trafford, Manchester.


The seaside town of Devon. Everyone loves a trip to the seaside. Do it in style and have a cruise along the waters, pop off for a visit on the steam train. Kids, couples, families, everyone will love this. I hung out with one of my mates who lived down there and we enjoyed a cool pub crawl.


Places you might have forgotten about still have a past. They have an endearing history and picturesque scenery that they are proud of. England is a beautiful country with a unified community and we take that for granted. A river cruise helps provide a little bit of a wakeup call, making us realise how lucky we are to have such a great history and live in such a great place, even if the weather doesn’t always seem to agree. It doesn’t matter if you’re from England or elsewhere though, every country has something to offer. Explore the culture and heritage and get to know your home before you look further afield.

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