So, as you might know right now we are saving up for our RTW trip and I am still recovering from my knee operation…not the best situation for two adventurers to find themselves in and cabin fever has started to bite hard! So what to do with yourselves when you are on a tight budget and want to have an adventure in your own city…that doesn’t involve our usual level of danger! Well, why not take a leaf out of “The Situationists” handbook and just wander! With no reason other than to just discover something new! You might be surprised what you overlook when you are in such a rush to go to work or go shopping!
The idea comes from both treating your own city like you would a new place…setting off on foot with no other objective other than to see the place, experience it and discover a new city. You slow down, see the details and become fascinated in the everyday obscurities that make that place unique.
Usually in our day to day lives we are too bogged down with having to be here or there to have a closer look, to glance upwards or even down! We have our eyes on the target, weaving in and out of people to get to that particular shop, that appointment or just to work in a certain time.
Then there is the ideas I played around with at university on my MA
, it was all about adventure within the everyday, questioning the normal way in which we use the city and was inspired by the practitioners of Psycho-geography who would do that very thing. Play around with the idea of experiencing the city, drawing lines on maps and following them or taking a route or road then never had before.
I would often come out of uni and instead of going home would just wander by myself around Manchester, falling in love again with my own city as I had done years ago as a kid first let off the leash to explore on my own terms.
I discovered things I never knew about where I was from, say the nuances and details that fly by in a rush. It always allowed me to gather my thoughts and never failed to leave me inspired, whether that was creatively or just in giving me some revitalisation.
Sitting at home for a few months since my operation and dreaming of those adventures of last year has left me feeling a little down I will admit. Not being able to get outside and push myself makes me feel like a fraud to myself. My only compensation at the moment is looking forward to April when our lives will change forever.
But I am not the most patient, sometimes it is a virtue not to be…I am pushy as hell when it comes to making things happen, but sometimes it is a torment that keeps me up at night and wears me down when there is no outlet.
So just the act of walking against the crowds, taking the back streets and pausing to notice what others don’t is my slice of rebellion and adventure. An adventure for the mind and spirit rather than the body. One which costs only the price of a bus ticket and that gives me the freedom those trapped by consumeristic needs will never know.
Sometimes the most exciting adventures are the ones we don’t expect. The hometown of 27 years that keeps giving you surprise encounters and challenges your perceptions.
And what it is all about is perceptions, to look differently, to change your angle of approach and to open your mind past the “normal” way in which we are taught to consume and “be” within the city.
Why does someone walk to the top of the mountain just to have to walk back down…so then why do we walk all the way across the city only to walk back to the bus station without becoming entombed with shopping bags? To soak in life in its purest form, and it’s why we are escaping but those strapped down by consumerism can’t.
Walking around the Northern Quarter, Ancoats and Castlefield and seeing the rebellious strokes of the colourful street art reminds me that we are all blank canvases, but too many of us allow societies idea of what we should be leave its impression on us without room for our own wonderful and unique creativity.
Our canvases become thick with layer upon layer of pressure, normality and settling that we forget who is really under there. Just the simple act of rebelling against what the city expects of us clears the way for us to make our own impressions!
Follow your heart…let it take you on an adventure!
Read our guide to Manchester here
Side note: This is what I love about writing and about blogging! This post originally started off as one about street art but I just got really inspired and continued to write! The words just kept coming and I really enjoyed letting all that out! This kind of thing is what I would love to do a Ph.D around one day! Anyway…that street art of Manchester post just might pop up one day too!
More of our crazy lefty rambling are here!
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