Like everyone, I miss travelling. I’m restless at heart and enjoy the hectic lifestyle of travelling whenever I get the chance, whether that be a weekend trip in the UK or a longer jaunt abroad.
I miss the excitement of taking a bus, a train, a plane, clutching your tickets as you gaze out the window, taking in the new scenery. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, the global coronavirus pandemic had other ideas of how we should spend our time.
The idea for creating a ‘bucket list’ for all the things I wanted to see in Norwich to try and emulate the travelling experience, came to me when I was self-isolating in my student house in June 2020, bored out of my mind and dreaming of all the trips I’d take when the pandemic was over. I’m always one for planning and organising so the monotony that life had become had left me feeling unmotivated and downcast, and the bucket list felt like a great way to attempt to combat that.
When my housemates and I desperately needed to escape our summatives for a day a couple of weeks ago, I planned a ‘travelling’ day for us, where we’d visit three new parks that were all on the other side of the city. It was completely new territory for all of us, and it was so lovely to interrupt the stagnancy of our current lives and get out and explore.
Having lived here for nearly three years, I’d say that I know Norwich quite well, but once I started researching – I discovered just how much is packed into such a compact city. I decided that one of the things that I wanted to cover was every park in Norwich, and I’ve so far managed twenty-eight. Twenty-eight! I still have four or five to do (as long as no more suddenly pop up on Google) but it makes you realise that there’s more than Eaton, Earlham & Bowthorpe park to discover.
One of my favourite places I’ve discovered – which I never would have even considered visiting if not for this bucket list, is Whitlingham Park. it’s just outside Norwich, and part of the Broads National Park, so it was a bit of a trek but boy was it worth it. It took me just under an hour to walk there, but I was greeted with a serene, gigantic stretch of water, an abundance of green space, and plentiful wildlife. Having visited in January, I would definitely like to try and take a trip there again in summer, because let’s face it, you can’t live in Norfolk and not visit the Broads.
I have just over three months until I leave Norwich for good, and having this bucket list experience has hammered home to me just how important it is to explore where you live rather than going to the same five places all the time.