This week is an exciting DOUBLE DOSE with the travelling duo – Thom and Sean from the UK.
I met Thom and Sean via their great posts on Twitter and by xploring their awesome blog, http://www.thomandsean.com. These two certianly know how to write. I can’t wait to follow the guys as they travel around the world and eventually arrive in Australia to party with me!
Here Thom and Sean reflect on their home country, England and share the best with you.
Thom Cornall and Sean Fraser
Theatre technician (T) and photographer (S)
3. Country of Residence
Currently the United Kingdom
4. Country of Origin
6. Why do you love Travel?
I think for us it’s the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things, trying out the world and seeing what else it has to offer.
7. Favourite place in your home country and why?
Sean: I think the favourite place that we both share is Brighton. It’s a seaside town (technically a city) on the south coast of England and it is brilliant. It has gorgeous Georgian architecture, friendly people, lovely little shops and vintage interestingness and then there’s the beach. Although not a sandy beach but a pebble beach it’s still fantastic.
Thom: Definitely agree with Brighton, it’s a damn lovely city. I’d probably throw in Chester too. It’s where I went to university so holds lots and lots of good memories for me. The town itself is quite small and easy to get around but holds loads of interesting shops, pubs and restaurants within the (Roman) city walls.
8. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?
If you accept that London is a given for every tourist, which it should be because it has so much to offer, then we would recommend WHERE????
Thom: I guess it depends on the tourist! The UK has got so much to offer and can cater to pretty much any taste! If you like the countryside and fancy yourself a bit of a rambler then head up to the Lake District and Northumberland or down to Cornwall and Devon. Both areas host stunning natural beauty spots and the very best of the English countryside!
If you’re a history buff, your in luck – we’ve got shedloads of it. From Tudor houses Roman ruins you could pick pretty much any town or city and have something to look at. For me, Edinburgh would be the pick of the bunch simply for the castle alone.
If you like you nightlife and consider yourself very much a city-based tourist, then it really does have to be London. Huge, sprawling and crowded it may be but you could spend weeks here without running out of things to do!
Sean: I think I would recommend London, you can’t avoid it, but once you have I’d pick somewhere like Bath, Bristol or Manchester. London gets a lot of stick from the rest of the UK for not being a true example of British life. So, mix it up and visit somewhere outside the south east of England.
9. What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?
Thom: Difficult one to answer this. I’d probably go for Australia. Good climate, good beer and good people. What more could you need?!
Sean: The United States. The older I get the more I appreciate the liberty and freedom of the USA. Also, I like the eccentricity. I know I’ll love Australia but I don’t know if I can live that far away from everything else that I know? Part of our year there is to find out if we can!
10. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?
Sean: When me and my friends were 16 we went on a mini-holiday to Bristol where we were going out to celebrate a birthday (bear in mind the legal drinking age in the UK is 18). We walked through all of Bristol trying to find a guest house with vacancies and we finally found one that we named Toad Hall. There were statues, pictures and toys of frogs EVERYWHERE. The landlady was something out of a Hammer Horror Film who insisted: “NO MONEY, NO KEY, NO MONEY, NO KEY”.
Suffice it to say we told her we would go and get cash, at which point we legged it! We found a new hotel and 10 or more years later we still chant ‘NO MONEY, NO KEY!’
11. Favourite activity when around your city?
Thom: Going down to the Greyhound Racing track in Wimbledon and putting on a few bets! Such a fun night out and very easy to pick up.
Sean: Photography. London is just absolutely amazing for photography, there is every conceivable kind of back drop or setting and I know that I’m really going to miss that flexibility and inspiration once we’ve left.
12. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?
Thom: I’d certainly like to do some more exploring as you can always learn something new about a place. Saying that, I think I know the country quite well. As a kid we couldn’t afford to go on family holidays abroad so I’ve been to many and varied places in the UK.
Sean: I definitely need to explore the UK some more, I’ve still not been to Northern Ireland (or the Republic) and the last time I was in Cornwall I was a baby. I think I’ve got a fairly good handle on my country though. The south is hard and stuck up and the north is soft and friendly. Luckily for me I like stuck up and I like friendly!
13. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?
Thom: Um, not that I can think of. It’s a very safe place. Of course, city’s and towns have there dodgy areas, as they do anywhere, but nothing major springs to mind.
Sean: The UK is expensive, I think Japan is one of the only countries more expensive than the UK. You won’t get value for money I’m afraid. Visit now though because the £ is barely worth the paper it’s printed on so it won’t seem so bad!
14. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?
Thom: Withnail and I. Possibly quite dated now, but a very very funny film. And very British.
Sean: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The British are a sarcastic bunch and also quite leftfield in their comedic tastes. If you can’t get the sense of humour then a visit here is going to leave you stranded.
15. The best book to read before visiting your country?
Thom: I honestly can’t think of a single book that’s worth reading set in this country.
Sean: Probablysomething by Dickens or Shakespeare (technically plays not books)
16. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?
Thom: The classic Sunday Roast. Roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, veg, stuffing, horseradish sauce and lashings of gravy. Perfection.
Sean: Yeah, Sunday Roast is the best!
17. The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.
Thom: Beer comes in pints or halves. “I’ll have a pint/half of lager please barkeep”
The Underground public transport in London is called the Tube not the Subway. (Sean: and it’s pronounced ‘Choob’ not ‘te-u-be’
Never try to use Cockney rhyming slang – you’ll just end up sounding like a tool.
Sean: If someone asks “You alright?’ when you walk into a shop or when you first meet it means hello, how’re you? It doesn’t imply that you look distressed or dissevelled. You should respond in kind: ‘Yeah, you?’
‘Quid’ is slang for ‘pound’, eg that’ll be five quid = £5.
‘A cuppa’ is what everyone calls a cup of tea – ‘I fancy a cuppa’, ‘do you wanna cuppa?’ British tea comes with milk and often sugar, if someone asks how you like it they’re not getting fresh. ‘One lump or two’ means one teaspoon of sugar or two!
18. Best time of year to visit?
Thom: I’m a summer man myself. Always lots and lots going on over the summer – music festivals, fetes, outdoor concerts.
19. The 4 words that best describe your country:
Thom: Eclectic, Historic, Contrasting and Innovative.
Sean: Old, quirky, sarcastic, beer!
Follow the guys on Twitter @thom_sean
or see their blog -http://www.thomandsean.com