“Home Sweet Home” Questionnaire #9: Monica Stott.
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your passion for travelling started.
I’m a 24 year old British gal, currently living in London and working for gap year site, Gap Daemon. I’m also studying to become a journalist.
My love for travelling started when I was really young. Even as a little kid I would scour travel magazines and drool over all the gorgeous photos. My mum also worked abroad a lot and I loved going to the airport to pick her up – I loved the buzz and excitement from people jetting off to exciting places.
2.) Where is home?
Although I live in London, home will always be in North Wales where I grew up with my parents.
3.) How did you get there? Have you lived there all your life, moved there because of College or just fell in love with the city/town on one of your trips?
We moved there from Manchester when I was six. My parents have a beautiful house in the countryside and I love going back there whenever I get the chance. Living in London really makes me appreciate being in the countryside, having a nice big garden and being surrounded by fields and streams, rivers and forests.
4.) What does your living situation look like? Give us a brief description (city or countryside, apartment or house, messy or neat-freak, roomies, pets, plants etc.)
I live with 5 other girls in Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon because it’s so close to central London but it has a village feel with nice bars, cafes, restaurants and the huge Wimbledon Common where I like to for long walks. Our house is quite big with a nice big garden and it’s lovely at the minute because we have daffodils and snowdrops sprouting up.
I’m not the tidiest person in the world but fortunately my housemates are so during the week it is nice and tidy. The weekend is a completely different matter when we have friends to stay and do lots of cooking.
5.) What’s your favorite spot in your apartment or house & why?
Definitely the kitchen. I’m pretty bad a cooking but I love giving it a go and this is the room where we all congregate, have a glass of wine and chat about our day. It’s always really warm in the kitchen too so it’s a nice place to be on a cold winters day.
6.) Do you prefer books or movies (plus what’s your favorite one)?
Definitely books because you can add a little bit of your own personality to the story. I have loads of favourite books but some of my faves are Shadow of the Wind, Great Expectations, The Time Travellers Wife and The Beach by Alex Garland which first inspired me to travel when I was about 11.
7.) Where & how do you write your blog articles? Do you start with a rough draft or get right to it?
I usually get an idea at the most inconvenient time, like just before I fall asleep, but I have to get up and write it down in rough or I can’t get to sleep. I prefer to write things the old fashioned way with a notepad and pen – I find everything flows a bit better this way. I’m also getting better at writing stuff on the train. I spent over an hour every day on the tube so I try to make the most out of that time and get some writing done.
8.) What does a perfect day in your hometown look like? What season is it? Are you inside or outdoors? Do you hang out with friends or family?
I actually love every season. Spring is beautiful when the blossom comes out and there are little lambs hopping around all the fields. I love the summer when it’s warm and sunny and the fields are filled with corn as high as your head and I have BBQ’s with my friends next to the river.
The autumn is the best season for going for long walks in the forest when every tree is a different colour and then I love to get wrapped up warm in the winter and sit by the fire.
I like to be outside as often as I can and I split my time between friends and family.
9.) Name three spots in your hometown, which you’d probably not find in a guidebook but you could recommend to travellers. Tell us what’s special about them.
1.) Amber Lounge: This is a bar in Chester and is one of my favourite. It’s in one of Chester’s oldest buildings so there’s lots of little cave like rooms and bigger spaces where DJs play.
2.) Telford’s Warehouse : A bar/restaurant/club next to the canal in Chester and is great for food, drinks or a full on party.
3.) The Crocky Trail: This is meant to be a kid’s day out but it’s so much fun I still go with my friends now. It’s one of the only places that hasn’t been hit by health and safety rules and it’s a ridiculously muddy, swampy path that leads through the forest. There are ropes and swings and obstacle courses but the main attraction is a 30ft mud slide. It’s a great day out but expect to go home with a bruise or two!
10.) What’s your favorite local dish (if you have one in your country/town, please tell us which one)? Can you cook it & what are the main ingredients?
I think hotpot is a good old fashioned northern dish and my housemates and I used to cook this all the time when we were in uni and running low on money. We’d basically get all the leftovers from the fridge, stick a tin of corned beef in it, a few cubes of vegetable stock then boil it up in a pot and a few hours later you’ve got a hotpot!
11.) How much does 1 liter (or one gallon) of milk and petrol cost today?
I have no idea. Too much. I’m not much good at stuff like that. I know it costs me £45 to fill my car and about £30 for a weekly shop but I barely ever look at the individual prices of things. This is probably where I should mention that I’m rubbish at budget backpacking!
12.) Where are you right now, on which device to you answer this questionnaire and what shoes are you wearing (if possible please add a picture)?
I’m on the train right now on my way home from work at Gap Daemon. I’m typing on my iPad and I’m wearing a snuggly pair of Ugg boots. They’re new so they’re still all soft and fluffy – perfect for keeping my toes warm during the horrible British winter.
13.) Last but not least: What does “home” mean to you?
Home is the place I go to when I need to relax. It’s where my mum and dad are always waiting with open arms. Where the fridge is filled with all my favourite food (and wine). Where there’s a cozy blanket on the sofa that I can curl up under for as long as I want. It’s where my dog is always waiting for me, ready to greet me like I’m the most important person in the world.
Home for me is a place filled with happy memories of growing up climbing trees, riding bikes, camping in the garden, making dens under the dining room table, having sleepovers with my friends and drunkenly sneaking into the house in the early hours of the morning.
Want to be a part of this series?
If you want to be a part of our series, just go to the “Home Sweet Home” article and download the appropriate questionnaire. We’d really like to read your stories :)
Participants so far:
#1: Ulli Maier
#2: Nisa Maier
#3: Shvyia Nath
#4: Rika Huang
#5: Yvonne Zagermann
#6: Dario Endara
#7: Frankie Thompson
#8: Roy van den Bos
#9: Monica Stott
#10: Doris Neubauer
#11: Amanda Slavinsky
#13: Casper Oppenhuis de Jong
#14: Ashley Abroad
#15: Inma Gregorio