When I moved to Devon in September 2016 to start my Creative Writing MA at Exeter University, one of the things I was most looking forward to was living near the sea.
The sea is a huge source of inspiration for me. In fact, looking back at all my writing projects, I’m unsure if it is possible for me to write a good story or novel that isn’t set by the sea.
So, whilst preparing for the move, I pictured myself writing in the window seat of an adorable cafe overlooking the sea, feeling pensive and arty and drinking a pretentious coffee. The reality has been sans all of these things but the writing, which is the right way around at least.
As these things often go, I’ve also not explored the surrounding area nearly as much as I’d have liked. But I have a few months left here and warmer weather is approaching. So in a bid to make the most of living in Devon, I’ve compiled a bucket list.
Cycle to Exmouth and back. It’s only an hour’s cycle from Exeter to Exmouth and the cycle route runs along the quay. This will be a lovely day trip once the weather starts warming up. I can’t wait to see all the dogs…
Sample Exeter’s cafes. I feel like I am forever walking past independent cafes in Exeter that look amazing and I’ve heard such good things about Cakeadoodledo and the Glorious Art House. When the dissertation stress sets in, I’m hoping to take myself to a couple of cafes, soak up the good vibes and treat myself.
Swim in the sea. Granted, this isn’t a Devon specific item but it’s something that needs to happen soon. I’m 23 and I’ve never swum in the sea. As someone who is no stranger to the beach, this seems outrageous. Now, I’m just waiting for some 25 degree Celsius weather.
Take my boyfriend to Teignmouth. This was my Grandma’s home for many years and my family and I used to spend a lot of time here, so it’s a piece of home I’d love to share with him.
Go to Cheesy Tuesdays at Unit 1. A midweek night out singing and dancing to cheesy classics? Yes, please. There is something comforting about the nostalgic oldies and I love that everyone knows all the lyrics. However, as this iconic night is on a Tuesday, I am yet to get there.
Go canoeing or kayaking on the quay. For someone who claims to love water, I’m rarely in it. I’m not sure whether I’ll opt for a kayak or a canoe (perhaps weather dependent), but I will get on the water somehow.
Write in a cute cafe by the sea. I know, I know. But as much as I’d be fulfilling a stereotype, if I don’t do this at least once before I leave Devon I will be gutted. It will be a really nice way to switch things up, whilst still getting work done.
Whether you’re considering visiting the area, a prospective Exeter University student, or even thousands of miles away, I hope this bucket list was inspiring.
Let me know if you have any location-based bucket lists!