Why Taking a Break From London is Needed

Snapshots of Salcombe, Devon

Hope Cove in Devon

To the fellow city dwellers, this is a post for you. Embarking on a trip to Salcombe in Devon has been a refreshing experience for this London girl. From time to time, taking a step out of the city and into the countryside is very needed. I often find myself going a bit insane if I stick around for too long in one place — be it a paradisiacal beach or my own home.

I usually venture to faraway lands to overcome my sense of cabin fever, including South East Asia (twice) and Colombia more recently. But funds are low (sniff), so I ran away to the country lanes in search of some peace and quiet; hoping to rejuvenate myself with fresher air and water, more vegetables and all the health I can find.

Country walk in Devon

For those who are unfamiliar, Salcombe is a resort district in the South Hams district of Devon. Everywhere is green, verdant and beautiful. I often find myself listening to sad-sounding French songs like Chanson Triste by Carla Bruni, all while soaking up the sun on a car journey through the country lanes. Every morning I read in the sun on the balcony with a cup of freshly brewed coffee made in a chrome cafetière. I’d like to note that this balcony has the most sublime view, so I’ve also been waking up every morning with an inner need to do a bit of yoga, which is a rare case in London. Or, rather, there seems to be no time for it.

Yesterday I walked 6 miles: a total of 14,000 steps according to my iPhone stepometer. The trail featured immense coastal views, handy ice cream shacks and a few challenging hills that made my sleep all the more pleasurable and rewarding the following night.

Green and verdant coastal paths in Hope Cove

After pausing every 5 minutes to take a photo of a majestic tree shading a horse in the heat or the pretty and particular cobbled paths, and of course slowing everyone down in the process (which I’m not sorry for — everything is so beautiful, I would adamantly explain), there would be yet another vivid landscape featuring an abundance of yellows, greens and blues yet to be captured on my Canon. By and by, we made it to the ice cream shack for a short break.

The best part about country strolls is the freedom. You are free to stop and start as you please and you are also free to change direction at any given moment. Either way, you will always somehow stumble upon something new and refreshing, whether you embark on the grassy right or follow the small yellow arrow pointing to the left marked “Foot Path”.

City walks are similar in someway. When you’re in London, stumbling upon a new street speckled with town houses and victorian street lamps or an entirely new park is also delightful; the sense of freedom also possible. Upon promenading around the quaint streets of Paris and casually coming across a new art gallery or a dusty book shop is equally as fun. Except for one thing: there are people everywhere all of the time — enough to make you want to escape the city life, even if it’s just for a period of 6 days.

On a coastal path, the space before you is wide and unwinding; Big Ben isn’t looming.

The space before you is wide and unwinding.