Home; The Most Underrated Place on Earth

“There’s no place like home”

We’re all aware of the above quote, but how many genuinely believe the sentiment it represents? There is another equally well-known, and relevant saying “familiarity breeds contempt”. Hopefully not many are contemptuous of their surroundings, but it’s true that we become blasé, even indifferent to what is familiar.

Gorilla Head rock viewed from Lot's Wife Pond on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-47 lots_wife_pond

Gorilla Head rock, St Helena

People are naturally curious, we have an inquisitive nature, it is in our DNA to explore. The exotic tempts us, the unknown, and this is the very ethos of travel, chasing the horizon, to discover distant, destinations, and cultures. It can lead us to ignore a place we should all be keen to explore; home. The truth is, we’re probably not as familiar with our surroundings as we should be.

“The grass is always greener ……”

Some call the exotic, distant places that you, and I crave home, and yet, they are equally tempted by what is beyond their horizon. They may reside on isolated atolls in the middle of oceans, that are the very definition of a remote paradise. A few inhabit mountain retreats, where their nearest neighbour maybe several hours drive away, and pollution is just a word in the dictionary. Perhaps they live in a small fishing village,  where everybody knows one another, and care about the welfare of their community, or have no fixed abode, genuine nomads, a lifestyle perceived as inherently romantic.

Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-46 lady_elliot

Lady Elliot Island

Many of these people however, would happily swap their surroundings, wishing to live in our overcrowded, polluted, uncaring, and insular cities. It really does seem that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. It’s a matter of perception; one person’s idyllic destination is another’s scramble to survive.

We often cannot see what is right under our noses, oblivious to our surroundings, familiarity blinding us to the many blessings. We fail to see the beauty around us, the fascinating cultures on our doorstep, places of interest within easy reach of our living room.

Even the desert dunes of Wahiba Sand (Sharqiya Sands) in the Sultanate of Oman  on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-119 wahiba_sands

Somebody’s home

“Home is where the heart is”

Few have adequately explored their home town, let alone country. Appreciating our locality can possibly make us better travellers. It’s likely most have fulfilled a form of traveller apprenticeship, visiting attractions both close to home, and further afield as children. Young people are especially inquisitive, despite an often short attention span. Any new experience becomes exciting, their imagination fuelling an intense interest in a situation which to adults probably appears mundane.

Cape Town fun run under Table Mountain in South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-4 table_mountain

Table Mountain, Cape Town

There are many skills we probably learned, but have since allowed to lapse. Returning to exploring our immediate surroundings may rekindle these. Rediscovering our home range will improve research skills, while fully using all our senses when stepping outside will hone our skills of observation.

“Staycation; the art of home exploration”

Going out with a fresh perspective will almost certainly provide many surprises, unexpected attractions, encounters with fascinating cultures, and breath-taking beauty that we were totally unaware of. The appeal of travel isn’t about distance, or passport stamps, it’s about experiences.

A reflection of the Liver Builiding in the Albert Dock in Liverpool on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography

Albert Docks, Liverpool

North Pier on the Fylde Coast near Blackpool on Mallory on Travel, adventure, photography Iain Mallory-300-10-1_north_pier

North Pier, Blackpool

Staycation is a modern term, coined to describe a holiday close to home. It’s already become clichéd, possibly even looked down upon as a poor substitute for real travel. However, the world’s most underrated place still has plenty to offer inquisitive explorers.

Urban greenbelt near home in Salford, Manchester  on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-6 migrating_geese

Flying home above Salford

Urban greenbelt near home in Salford, Manchester  on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-14 salford_greenbelt

Exploring Salford’s Greenbelt


Comments 6

  1. Ben

    Travelling is so much more about your state of mind than a destination. I spent a year living in London and hardly explored at all, until I knew I was leaving to move to Geneva. For the last 3 years here in Switzerland I’ve made a massive effort to see as much as I can close to home. It has made me so grateful for every day that I have living here. It’s hard to really appreciate what you have unless you spend some time savouring it. Thanks for sharing this fantastic post!

  2. Drea

    Great post! I have had family and friends come visit from overseas before, and it wasn’t until they came that I discovered many beautiful places close to home to show them. You just have to appreciate what you have, and yes, the grass is not greener on the other side.

  3. Scott @ VacationCounts

    For me a staycation is any vacation day that doesn’t require you to spend a night at a hotel – you still get to sleep in your own bed! That kind of “trip” can take you quite far from home while not incurring the expense and planning of an overnight or multi-day vacation.

    While you can choose to play tourist in your own city (always a fun option) or engage in outdoor activities, you can also take a drive, bus, or train for a full vacation day away from home. While you may not have to pack a suitcase or plan extensively, it still count as a memorable, rewarding, and enjoyable vacation. 

    -Scott, VacationCounts – Take More Vacation Time Off!

  4. Mathieu

    I had to received guest from abroad to discover that I didn’t knew well enough my own country. Since that day i haven’t stop discovering new things about my homeland : Mauritius island.

  5. Alli

    An excellent post with beautiful pictures. I like to add one thing to your post. When you are seeing and experiencing in your own surroundings (hometown) you are living. That is why it is not called an experience or a holiday. I live in one of the largest, most loved and visited cities in the world; London. When I think about it, I have been to nearly every corner of it. So, I can say I lived in the city. Each corner reminds me of a different encounter. I have either seen a client, met a friend or took my visitors. The experience is totally different from holiday and you explain it pretty well. I think you need to get away to get away from it all. You can have a relaxing day in your back garden but you can never relax the way you do in a holiday.

  6. Sai Krishna

    I wonder how you took these photographs! These are amazing. Some times we are not able to see the beauty around us.That’s very true.

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