How has another month passed?
Today is May Day, which means it’s time for me to start another month-long challenge.
But first a recap on how last month went. Thanks to everyone who followed along on Instagram this April as I shared a few things from my life which weren’t exactly Instagrammable.
My ‘veg patch’, which, with its delightful piles of dead sticks, looks more like a giant bird’s nest after it has been ransacked by egg-hungry monsters.
My dog, who, God love him, got an upset tummy and decided to be ill in both directions all over the house for days. (The results, fortunately, were not pictured)
And while I was enjoying a hugely photogenic trip to Japan, those bits of travel that rarely make the social feeds: time in airports. More time in airports. Then unexpected delays meaning, yup, more time in airports.
I love looking at beautiful photographs on Instagram as much as the next person. (Especially of Japan. Man, what a beautiful country…) But this has been a helpful reminder to myself that it’s never an accurate reflection of reality – my own or anyone else’s.
Ok, so here is an Instagram health warning, more as a reminder for myself than anything. I saw this beautiful sight of a couple in traditional Japanese outfits in Kyoto's Arashiyama bamboo grove today. Well, I saw something a bit like this. Then I cropped out the gawping tourists in the background, set the colour saturation to maximum and threw on a filter for good measure. Pictures on here don't necessarily tell the whole story all the time! My #underwhelming post for the day
Talk of my trip, however (did I mention I’ve just been to Japan??!!) leads me nicely on to this month’s challenge.
While we were out there, my wife and I clocked up some serious mileage on foot, just wandering about the city and exploring.
It was great to head away from the big tourist sites and find ourselves sitting at the counter watching the chefs in a back-alley ramen joint, drinking sake in a wood-panelled izakaya or browsing the tat in a 100 yen shop, feeling like both complete outsiders and something resembling locals at the same time.
But it made me wonder why I don’t spend more time exploring my own neighbourhood. Adventure doesn’t have to be found half-way round the world, after all, and it’s a darn sight cheaper if you find it on your doorstep.
I’m sure we all have parts of our own neighbourhoods we’ve always meant to check out but never quite got round to because… well, it’ll still be there next week, right?
How would you think differently about where you live if you were visiting it as a holidaymaker?
So this month I aim to be a tourist in my own back yard, exploring areas of Yorkshire I’ve never been to. Again, I’ll be sharing the journey on Instagram, I’m @wantlessblog.