Although lockdown is easing, the limitations on our freedom still remain. In this blog post, our chief executive, Alison, explains how she is still enjoying the world without travelling anywhere.

For many, including me, last week was a tough one. I spoke with so many members who were really struggling with the restrictions and all these uncertainties.

In normal times, and when funds allow, I love to plan my trips to far-flung places and weekend mini-adventures nearer to home. In recent weeks I was deeply struck by a soundbite in a BBC montage of an older fella saying: “ I am free in my mind. In my mind I can go anywhere.”  It reminded me that whilst we are all being encouraged to stay at home with no prospect of a foreign trip this year we can still enjoy the world.

We can look back at our photographs of past trips and take some pleasure in the memories they bring back. Last weekend I spent a few hours downloading the short What’s App videos and numerous photos I have accumulated, from my phone to my computer, of my new grandchildren. It also prompted me to look again at photos of recent years, of fabulously enjoyable trips I have taken and memories I have made.

At this time I have also enjoyed the programmes on television with Michael Portillo’s train journeys around the UK and of his trips in the US and Canada. Tony Robinson has also been pretty busy on the trains too with journeys in Russia, Mexico and Canada. These programmes allow me to day dream about where I would like to go next. At some stage in the next 10 years I plan to go on the trip through the Canadian Rockies and up to Alaska, to Skagway, Whittier, Anchorage, maybe trekking around Mount McKinley, (if I’m not too old by then), and further on to Fairbanks and possibly as far as Wainwright in the far north.

Whilst I do prefer the cold weather to the heat of traditional summer holidays, also on my list is a trip to explore Morocco. I particularly want to climb Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas mountains. The trek takes in high passes including the Tizi ‘N Tizikert Pass and through villages on the northern slopes of Mt Toubkal which stands at 13,671ft, (that’s just over 4000 metres).

The plan would be to be on the summit in the early morning and be rewarded by the spectacular views for miles around. Whilst in Morocco I want to explore the medinas in Casablanca, Fez and Marrakech; to walk around the Roman ruins of Volubilis in Chefchaouen; explore the stunning Todra Gorge near Merzouga and the World Heritage site of the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah.

There are many more destinations I dream of visiting in the coming years, and I will no doubt spend more happy hours over the next few weeks and months thinking and planning. One thing I am sure of is that in the time it has taken me to write this I haven’t thought about the challenges we face day to day right now, what a welcome respite that has been.

Share with us your memories of great adventures and maybe we can all take some time out again!