- Stroud, United Kingdom - Jonathan Howe
My hometown is an awesome little place called Stroud, in The Cotswolds, south west England. When I was born there, back in 1984, it was just a ‘nice little town’. The town itself sits in the base of one of Seven Valleys, in a national Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Today Stroud is a place where people move for a better life away from the city and has become a thriving hub for artists and alternative living. Fun fact – Stroud is the World’s first ‘Bee Guardian Town’!
There’s nature all around you, yet a town full of people, pubs, bars, and shops is only a 20 min walk away. You don’t need to be entertained here; simple pleasures like walking the dog in a field or riding a bicycle or an old motorbike down a country lane are perfect ways to pass your time. The Saturday market near the centre of town is a weekly festival of food, arts and crafts from local butchers to handmade furniture.
Stroud even has a hilarious Facebook page, where you can see all the weird and bizarre antics that take place here. A large, bald-headed man in a lovely floral summer dress, or a herd of llamas and alpacas are not uncommon sights!
Of course, there’s no way I could forget the famous annual Cheese Rolling competition, where brave, stupid & crazy local citizens chase a 9lb wheel of cheese down the steepest hill they can find, often breaking limbs in the process. The first person to catch up with the cheese, gets to keep it – Winning!
Photo by Will de Freitas
Jonathan Howe is the British traveller and writer behind Two Monkeys Travel. He travels the world with his fiancée, Kach, living their lives exactly the way they always dreamed – one day, one city, one country at a time. Follow his adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
- Miami, USA - Vicky Sosa
Did you know Miami is the only major American city founded by a woman? Julia Tuttle saw potential in the south Florida territory and bought over 600 acres of land in 1891. She convinced railway mogul Henry Flagler to extend his railway down to Miami, and it rolled into town for the first time in April 1896. Almost immediately, the city bloomed and prospered. Julia Tuttle had envisioned a city that would be a gateway to Central and South America, and how right she was! Today, Miami is a melting pot with cultural influences not only from the Americas, but from all over the world.
Although everyone has heard of it, I don’t think people realize how much there is to do here. Yes, you can lounge around on the beach or go get drinks at a cool bar on South Beach. But you can also take in some amazing street art in Wynwood, visit any of the amazing art museums in the area, watch monkeys play in the only semi-natural tropical rainforest in North America, visit ancient Spanish monasteries, and so much more.
I love how much there is to do in Miami and the fact that it’s still growing. Every day I feel like I discover something new about this great city and i am so proud of it!
Vicky has literally had a passport since she was a baby, and has always dreamed of traveling the world. Follow her and her stuffed companion Buddy The Traveling Monkey as they travel the world and inspire others to do the same. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
- Edmonton, Canada - Alouise Dittrick
My hometown is Edmonton, Canada, and it is often overlooked by travellers. I love Edmonton. It is underrated and filled with lots of things to see and do if you look for it. Many visitors will head to the most well-known attraction West Edmonton Mall. While that’s fine I’d much rather take a walk and shop and dine along Whyte Ave,124 Street, or on Alberta Avenue. Fort Edmonton Park is one of my local attractions. It’s a live interactive museum where you can see the history of Edmonton from its early days as a Fort in the 1700’s up to the 1920s.
Festivals are also an important part of Edmonton and are held throughout the year. The busiest time for festivals is in the summer (when the weather is usually fantastic). My favourite festivals are The Servus Heritage Festival, which celebrates the variety of cultural communities in Edmonton, and The Edmonton International Fringe Festival, which is a fantastic theatre festival (and the 2nd largest Fringe Festival in the world).
While I’m not an outdoor enthusiast The North Saskatchewan River Valley has a variety of trails and parks that are fantastic, particularly in the beautiful and short-lived autumn season. One of them is the amazing and enormous Victoria Park.
Alouise Dittrick is a writer, and travel enthusiast from Edmonton, Canada. She combines her passion for travel with her love of the performing arts on her blog Take Me to the World. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.