It’s come to my attention recently that I’ll soon be finishing education forever. I say that it’s come to my attention, when in reality it’s all I ever think about. I’ve spent almost 20 years of my life in education, from when I started as a three-year-old in nursery school to studying my A Levels, getting a First Class degree and now completing my Masters in Journalism, and soon my time studying will be over. While I’m seriously excited to actually have a social life again and to kickstart my career and start working in an industry I’m sure I’ll love, it’s made me realise that I’m probably going to have to move away from the town I call home and to start fresh in some place new.
|Walking along at Wiseman’s Bridge.|
This terrifies me because I absolutely love where I live. Okay, so it’s the teeniest little Welsh town where everyone knows everyone and you can’t go to Tesco in your onesie because you’re guaranteed to see at least ten people you know. Yes, it’s in the middle of nowhere and most of my weekends as a teenager were spent aimlessly wondering around the town centre, which until only very recently had a New Look and a Woolworths to keep you entertained (a few years ago we actually got a Topshop and a River Island!). And the majority of the time the weather is so
crap that any hopes of wearing a summer dress for a night out in the town’s only nightclub are shattered.
|How beautiful is Tenby on a summer’s day?|
Sounds like a place you want to visit, right? Well, that’s pretty much what the whole of Wales is like. While Cardiff is filled with gorgeous shops, swanky bars and cosmopolitan restaurants, the majority of the country couldn’t be more different. But that’s exactly what I love about living in Wales. The fact that a car journey that takes just half an hour ends with me being in Tenby, one of the most beautiful seaside towns you can imagine, with brightly painted rows of houses built high on a cliff overlooking the harbour and winding streets filled with tiny pubs, ice cream parlours and surf shops galore.
|The view from the top of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons|
And if I drive about an hour to the East I come to the beautiful Brecon Beacons, a mountain range with the highest peak in South Wales, from which you can see rolling green fields of farmland stretching out across the horizon, broken only by small towns and villages and the odd crumbling castle where for centuries it has stood proudly.
|The view from Cefn Sidan Beach in Pembrey.|
In just over a ten minute car journey from the town centre you come to Llansteffan, a tiny village by the sea that boasts golden sands and an almighty castle. Now I spend my time there with my boyfriend Dan taking our dogs for a walk, or with my friends and their little ones building sandcastles and searching for starfish, but when we were in school we would build log fires there and have BBQs on the beach as the sun went down. Just across the estuary is Cefn Sidan and on a clear day it provides the most amazing sunsets that easily rival the ones I’ve seen whilst on holiday abroad.
|My favourite place, Saundersfoot.|
People complain that there’s “nothing” in Wales, but that’s the absolute beauty of it. The peace and quiet, the fact that you can hear the waves crashing into the shoreline as you breathe in the fresh sea air, and the fact that you can go for a walk in the countryside and be disturbed by nothing apart from your own thoughts. The fact these beautiful places are left unspoiled, reserved only for nature and those who go out and seek it.
|The perfect location for an evening run.|
I’ve been thinking lately that this may be my last full summer living in my hometown for a little while as I fly the nest to put all I’ve learnt in my two decades of education into practice, and this makes me really sad. I have so many happy memories of growing up in Wales, so this year I’m determined to explore as much of my homeland as time and money will allow and it’s made me think that more travel bloggers should too. There is so much to do here, so many beautiful places to visit and so many towns, beaches and mountains to explore.
Have you ever visited Wales?
Lots of love,