As most of you know, I'm no stranger to travel, bombing around the world reviewing science centres and performing Shakespeare across India (which, incidentally, started just over three years ago, which is rather shocking for me). One of the best - and worst - features of being a storyteller is in fact all the travel involved, for example being in the East of England then travelling over 100 miles on a Friday evening, over 200 miles almost to Wales and back on the Saturday and another 100 miles back on the Sunday ready for a new week of schools.
I really enjoy seeing different parts of the country I call my home - in fact, I have seen embarrasingly little in the grand scheme of things, and the opportunity to go around rural Norfolk has been a great one. My Satnav has decided that all country roads no more than a track are navigable at 60mph, so for that I've been cursing her somewhat, but it has given me a lot of food for thought. Here is a county that you visit if you want to, rather than a county you pass through of the way somewhere, like my own.
Of course, driving can be quite draining, especially after a tiring day in school, and the thought of driving another 60, 100 or 150 miles can be one of profound despair. Once I'm out there though, and can screen out the idiot drivers that just want to overtake on small country roads, I find myself really enjoying the experience - another one of those times when the picture in my head is bigger and uglier than the reality. I've certainly gone into detail about that before, and I'm very lucky that I'm now being given - in all aspects of life - the opportunity to be pushed through those mental barriers that I readily construct.
It's very easy to be blase about your country, but nothing beats getting out there and meeting real people all over the place. I still get a buzz when I see roadsigns to places I've never heard of, or mileage signs to places I have, and I get a mental picture of where I must be. It's a great feeling - though if my Satnav can actually give me the middle road between going the absolute shortest mileage and going out of its way to get on motorways, it'd be even better.