Last week I blogged about my wanderlust list and all of the beautiful places that I'm dying to travel, and then I had people pass comments like 'oh it must be so nice to go travelling all the time', but in reality it's far from it...

I'm on such a strict budget it's unreal. I don't have a steady source of income right now and trips can be really expensive. I'm trying to be travel-smart by booking the cheapest little trips that I can find, and going for long weekends rather than full weeks, by not booking with tour groups and exploring alone, and I'll also be starting to use forms of payment that pay back in air miles. So, what if you're like me and can't always afford to get to the Swiss Alps, or the mountains of Tibet, or the sands of Egypt but still want to explore new places and get some fabulous photos?

Recently I’ve seen a few big Instagram gals saying that if you can’t travel then you should explore what’s on your doorstep. Now, if you’re anything like me me you’ll find that enormously tedious. I don’t enjoy exploring Cornwall; public transport is hit or miss, the most scenic places are so far apart from each other, we have no restaurants with walls delicately laced with beautiful pink roses, and then there are the awkward moments because everyone seems to know everyone. I’m also not excited by Cornwall in any way. It’s a huge treat for those of you who don’t live here, because you visit in summer and wander around the beaches. The rest of the year we’re graced with almost endless days of rain, and it’s truly wet, cold, and miserable. Then when summer does roll around we’d rather sit in our gardens because the beaches are beyond full. Catch twenty-two.

All of this in mind, I really really wanted some new shots for the gram. My Iceland trip has obviously come to an end, and I’d run out of shots that I wanted to share. So I took a moment, during the non-stop rain that we had in January, to research nearby locations that I could walk around. I’ve lived in Cornwall since I was 7, so that’s a fair few years, and there are hidden gems that I had no idea existed – and certainly had no idea how nearby they were. I live in the dullest grimy town; it’s certainly not ‘Peggy Porschen’ pretty in any way, but in between all of the drunken squabbles and unfriendly faces I managed to find a few out of sight destinations that I intend to explore.

Hurrah! So I now have a little list of beautiful places that aren’t just ‘country-side’, and they’re not often visited because they’re so tucked away. My mum and I also stopped to think about how many beaches we have on our doorstep – we counted seven. Seven beaches that are within a 10 minute drive. Some are a lot nicer than others, some you’ll be screaming as you walk across pebbles rather than sand, and some are beyond inundated with tourists, but there are one or two that are little gems that no-one really ventures to. These will be my choices (it’s definitely awkward enough going out and about with a tripod on your own – let alone bumping into people you actually know… grumble grumble).

There are definitely pro’s to exploring what’s on your doorstep – things are usually free to explore (or local passes are often available), you won’t need to book that pricey trip to another country just to get those shots, you might find places that you never knew existed, you could learn some new history about your town, if you didn’t get the shot the first time you can easily go back again another day, you can revisit locations in all the seasons…

Finding these new locations are a lot easier than you think too. If you have friends who often go on days out then take a close look at their shots. They may not be the best photographers so their shots may not have stood out to you before, but they’re probably exploring places you’d never have thought of or maybe hadn’t even seen before – take a good look at those locations! You can also stalk local geotags or hashtags on Instagram… this is what I did, and I found a few amazing sights that I had no idea were a hikeable distance from my home. Photos are the best form of inspiration. Take a peek at Google Maps too, see what’s within, say, a 10 mile radius from your home. For example, there’s a waterfall within a 10 minute walk from my mum and dad’s house that we never knew was there – and they’ve lived there for 22 years. Crazy! You can even ask friends and family for suggestions; pop up a tweet or a Facebook status asking where the best hidden gems are. You can always google the suggestions before you go to see if they’re really worth it or not.

So if you’re a little strapped for cash, just like I am, and can’t afford to go on so many amazing trips per year, just like me, then take a little advice and try to explore what’s already in front of you. You may still be rolling your eyes at me, and trust me I have been rolling my eyes at my local scenery for years, but take a peek at what’s out there and see how you get on. The photos within this blog post are of a beach just a 5 minute drive from my home that I hadn't stepped foot on for years, and I think they look pretty magical. You can have a peek at more of my local inspiration here on my Instagram feed.

So many big Instagram accounts are constantly travelling around from place to place, but us little guys just can’t do it. I’m still totally unemployed, with plenty of bills to pay, and so I really do need to learn to be satisfied with and excited by beautiful local locations. So what are you going to do to explore your doorstep? Drop me a comment below and let me know if you’re going to give it a try! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Claudia xo 

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  1. Love this! And good for you for getting out and exploring. I love where I'm from, but we have the same issue....everyone visits in summer so you don't really want to go out and try and visit the busy places.
    I definitely appreciate home, and everything it has to offer, now that I'm travelling around abroad more xx

    1. I’m trying hard to find places that aren’t riddled with people, some days it works and some days it really doesn’t! I had no idea public gardens would be SO busy at 10am on a Tuesday morning in February ahaha.

      I so agree, a few weeks of travelling and I’m happy to laze on my own sofa for a day or two!

      Claudia xo