Hit the road, Jack (or Jane, Emily, Joe…)

James Stix, Lifestyle Editor, writes on the adventures to be had exploring Cornwall


photo: James Stix

There’s something about taking to the road without a purpose, with no definite idea of where you might be headed. Wake up, bacon and eggs and a sunny sky. That tends to be the setting where the mind will wonder and thinkabout what there is beyond what we know.

In Falmouth, it’s a magical kind of experience. Maybe because a sunny day is so rare, or maybe because of the possibilities there are to explore. Take a stroll around the estuary, and you’re lost in and around Flushing, through trails that meander around unexpected adventures. From farms where the horses come out and eat from your hand to tree-swings that are slightly too dangerous to not give them a try. Take a short drive South and find yourself lost in the tropical paradise of Trebah gardens, which not only includes beautiful trails, surrounded by rhododendrons, hydrangeas and a water garden that is buzzing with natural life and colour such as Arum Lilies or the skunk cabbage, misleadingly named.

The natural world has plenty to keep you entertained and busy during times of wandering (if you find any to spare outside of your course and all the extracurricular things going on), but then there’s places like the Eden project, or Truro Cathedral or events at Minnack Theatre (all-time favourite, when combined with its neighbouring beach Porthcurno). These are the places to really watch out for. It’s really a bit of a shame that all these plans, all the needs we have to let go, slip to the past of our heads as we scramble with our day to day lives to complete a seemingly endless list of things to do. The reality is, these places aren’t prohibitively far, or expensive, or require some kind of superhuman effort to get to and experience, but it seems to be very easy to think “meh, I can do that next weekend” or “but I really need to finish this and I can’t really afford the time, effort and energy right now, and what about that other thing I’d planned on doing? Or that new show that just came out? Knowing Cornwall, it’ll probably rain anyway. Oh and Domino’s closes at 1, I should probably make sure I’m home before that happens”.

Now this isn’t applicable to everyone, of course (but nothing really is, right?) yet to an extent it might hold true to all that in order to start spending the rest of our lives doing the things that we promise ourselves that we’ll eventually do, we have to start. Maybe this all comes down to a proverb that rings infinite wisdom in my brain, that the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. Now this seems a bleak perspective, perhaps an unfortunately honest one. See you at Trebah.