Why Settling into a Local Job Doesn’t Have to Mean the End of Traveling

8 British Phrases You Need to Know, Why Settling into a Local Job Doesn't Have to Mean the End of Traveling

After toying with which country to live in next for some time, I’ve ended up staying in my home country; I have just moved to Oxford for work. It’s something that has happened quite suddenly, like most of my life decisions, but I have fallen in love with the city swiftly and deeply. I’m still planning to travel, but I’m hoping to keep the city my more long-term base, my place to branch out from and to call “home” when I return. At least for now.

Why Settling into a Local Job Doesn't Mean the End of Traveling
Alex in her new home Oxford

What I love most about the UK is that, for a tiny country, it is so diverse. It’s a whole bunch of mini-cultures crammed into one. You can travel just a short distance and notice changes in accents, ideas, countryside and prices. Even though I’m still in my home country, everything feels so incredibly different from my hometown. Everything still feels all shiny and new to me – or I suppose, being Oxford, all historic and old.

Travel isn’t necessarily something far away and exotic and inaccessible.

So much of what I love about travel is more about attitude than anything else. Even if you have time or money or life constraints that stop you from traveling halfway across the globe, there is always a way to explore somewhere different, or to see things from a new angle. There is always a new city within driving’s reach, or – if you’re in Europe – a budget short-haul flight to a new country. There are different people to meet in the bar down the road from your local, or a museum you keep meaning to visit ten minutes away, which you’ll go to “someday.” Probably. Maybe. Never.

When I lived in Italy, I was within two hours’ distance of Venice. I hopped on the train within my first two weeks to visit. It shocked me how many of my students – most of whom had spent their whole lives two hours away from Venice – hadn’t visited yet. “One day, one day,” they told me, unperturbed. But it’s human nature, and completely normal; if something is so accessible, why the hurry?

With this in mind, I’ve been trying to see Oxford from a tourist’s perspective, rather than the place I now live in and may never properly see. During my first month here, I’ve been on a whirlwind tourist tour, trying to take in as much of the city as possible. I’ve dived in and out of colleges on my way to the supermarket, been to half of the museums already, and been on the cheesy red tourist bus that most big cities have, snapping pictures like there was no tomorrow. Half of the people I’ve met here have been quite bemused about this when I tell them – but then again, they live here. There is always a “someday” to do these things. But when? And why not today?

Even if you have time or money or life constraints that stop you from traveling halfway across the globe, there is always a way to explore somewhere different, or to see things from a new angle.

At first, I was sad that I wouldn’t be living abroad again for some time. And then I realized: as long as there are new places to see, new restaurants to try and new faces to meet, anywhere can bring you opportunities to see the world differently and give you that same feeling of freedom of being on the road. It’s not always easy to get out there when the commitments of life get in the way – and often, they do. But whenever I do make the effort to go out and try something, even if I need an extra coffee or two to pep me up after a day’s slog at work, from my experience it’s always been worth it.

If you’re ever tired, disillusioned, or bored, or can’t afford long-term travel right now, or are saving for long-term travel and it feels like your goal is so far away; if work is stopping you from getting on that plane to Paris or Costa Rica tomorrow; if you’ve been watching Netflix in bed every night after work in a fortnight-long funk; if you feel in need of a new adventure abroad but you have no idea what that is, always remember: travel isn’t necessarily something far away and exotic and inaccessible. It can be something right on your doorstep. It can be a half-hour train ride to the next town. It can even be going for a long walk without any idea where, or visiting a local festival you’ve always meant to try out. And quite often, places I visit locally tend to ignite my wanderlust again, and help me map out more long-term, long-distance travels for later on.

Travel can be something for everyone, at any time. Never stop aiming for your travel dreams farther afield, but equally, never stop being inspired by home.

Travel can be a “someday” place, today.



Why Settling into a Local Job Doesn’t Have to Mean the End of Traveling

About Alex Pendleton

Alex PendletonAlex Pendleton loves writing, exploring, baking and strong coffee. She has a permanent case of wanderlust, and is currently back in the UK planning her next adventure. She has traveled extensively, studied in the Czech Republic and worked in Germany and Italy.

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