In the middle of 2015 both Franca and I decided that whilst we loved where the past three years had taken us, we both felt the need to become slow travellers in another way.
We’ve spent from 2012 to 2013 travelling around East Asia, and from 2013 to 2015 house sitting and travelling our way around Europe. We’ve seen incredible places, met life-changing people, and had experiences that we’ll never forget – but something needed to change.
We’d both become aware that we were starting to tire a little from moving around so much. It might seem like a pretty nice problem to have – travelling around 24/7 – but it really does take it out of you, no matter how much it becomes your “normal”.
House sitting also has been fantastic for giving us more time in new locations, but rather curiously I found myself wishing that the place we were watching was my own. My kitchen, my bed, and my TV with all the sports channels (yeah, I miss football quite a bit).
Every time we were travelling some place new we’d both admit that it’d be nice if we were going “home”, a place neither of us thought we’d ever crave again when we sold everything we had way back then.
During the summer last year we committed ourselves to finding a small place somewhere that we could treat as our “home base” between our (hopeful) continued travellers, and since then we’ve been house sitting and travelling around the UK looking for somewhere that felt right.
We house sat in Brighton and fell in love. It’s possibly the most open and liberal city in the UK that we’ve visited together, and it’s a perfect haven for people like us that crave an alternative and vegan lifestyle.
Unfortunately it’s ridiculously expensive.
We house sat in Bournemouth, but it didn’t feel like “us”.
We travelled north to stay with a friend in Leeds to see why so many people are raving about it, but it still didn’t quite feel right.
Taking the train west and we spent a long weekend in Manchester, the hub of the “Northern Powerhouse, and a huge hotspot for music, art, and culture – but something didn’t quite feel right.
It lacked some of that old character that we love in London, another city on our wish list, but too extortionately overpriced. The buildings and city have plenty going on, but it didn’t quite tick all the right boxes.
Suddenly we realised that we’d been somewhere in 2014 that matched several of the targets we had on our hit list.
It’s old. Exciting. Full of a young energy (thanks to the university). Exploding with art, culture, and plenty of music to keep you busy each night. Also, the vegan community is one of the most electric in the country, with only one local rival able to compete with it.
There’s plenty of football too so that I can cure that itch, and in terms of scratching our travel itch then it’s great location to write about for our travelling friends and readers, not to mention it’s also perfectly placed for exploring the lush green landscapes that span out in almost every direction.
Where else is better to build a new home base for our lives than in Edinburgh?
Our New Lives in Edinburgh
Since we returned to the Scottish capital Edinburgh at the beginning of January we’ve been house sitting and hunting around for an apartment to rent for the next six months, and potentially for many months after that. Eventually we found a small place that we’ve already unpacked into (easy to do when a backpack is all you own in the world).
Obviously we’re all too aware that many travellers like us often put down roots in new locations and think they’re “perfect”, only to move on a few months later because the travel itch is too great. We’re being smart, cautious, and are both prepared to see how things go and reconsider if this is where we’d like to see ourselves in a year from now; but in the meantime we’re really excited about exploring the city and meeting people in the local community.
We’ve both also been looking for work too as we’ve been working our way to the end of our travel budget pretty rapidly over the past year, and I’m really thankful to say that I’ve found some work in the SEO department for a digital marketing company, and I’m already loving the experience and the team I’m working with.
Franca meanwhile is looking for a job that’ll hopefully address her desire to work with animals, although she’s completely open to work in something vegan-related as she’s keen to learn more about how to make so much of the delicious food we’ve tried over the past few years.
New Content on the Blog
One aspect we’re really excited about from our move to Edinburgh is how much more of the city there is to share with you.
We’ve written once before our Five Travel Tips for Edinburgh, but in our eyes there’s still more for us to cover and share, so in the next few months you’ll find a sprinkling of new content on Edinburgh – and hopefully – several more locations from around Scotland.
Don’t forget, if there’s any subject that you’d like us to explore in more detail, let us know in the comments below and we’ll start researching exactly what Edinburgh holds for you and your travels to the city.
Until then, travel safe.
Dale & Franca