Heather Cowper is the owner of Heatheronhertravels.com where you’ll find travel inspiration and information, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or enjoying some escapism and dreaming of your next adventure.
Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?
I’m a full time blogger at Heatheronhertravels.com and I’ve been traveling since I was a child. My parents always loved to take us on camping holidays touring Europe. My travel style is to base myself in Bristol for work and then I’ll go traveling for anything up to a couple of weeks, normally with my husband or a friend. I love to explore new cultures, experience new tastes and get a bit of healthy outdoor activity such as hiking or cycling. I also admit that I’m a sucker for anywhere sunny, especially in the English winter.
Can you tell us something about the culture in your country and why did you decided to stay there?
I live in Bristol and I moved here from London after we got married. I’ve brought up my family here and we all love life in Bristol. There’s such a vibrant and creative culture, it’s a great lifestyle with plenty going on, the countryside on our doorstep as well as a fabulous indie food scene with loads of cool cafes, bars and restaurants.
What surprising aspect of culture do you love about your country (or your specific town/city) that travelers may not be aware of?
Bristol is known for its street-art. It was where Banksy grew up but there are plenty of other talented street-artists too. We have a street-art festival every year called Upfest with so many new murals being created all the time. Now I’ve become a bit of a street-art addict and look out for it wherever I travel.
Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!
In Bristol, we have everything from the best pies, burgers and fish & chips to really creative (but not necessarily expensive) fine dining experiences. There’s also a really strong cafe culture in Bristol and at weekends we treat ourselves to try different places for brunch – I always order eggs benedict. For drinking the drink of choice in Bristol is cider, as there are plentiful orchards and cider growers nearby in Somerset, but we also have many great craft beer brewers.
Growing up in your country, what’s something that you believe makes it unlike anywhere else in the world?
I love the way that the British are so understated and masters of irony. Most of us hate to be flashy or over the top, we don’t go in for effusive friendliness as we consider it a little false, but you’ll find a genuine warmth and helpfulness once you get to know us.
Talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you? Which family values are valuable to you?
I have 3 children and although they are almost grown up and leaving home, I’m pleased that we had a base for the family here in Bristol. The children have all travelled widely both on family holidays and more recently on their own. They are confident travelers and not at all phased by new cultures or experiences and they’re all looking at spending time abroad for their studies and careers, so I guess you could say they are citizens of the world.
How important is spirituality and religion in your daily life? What do you do to celebrate the two?
We are Catholics and go to church most Sundays. Being part of a faith community is great to give another dimension from travel blogging. I think that the fundamentals of respect and love flow through any religion. I try to show that respect for other cultures and religions wherever I travel in the world.
Share about a custom/tradition you observe. What makes it special?
I like collecting things from the places I visit. For a long time, I would buy painted plates and mugs, until my walls and cupboards became full. These days we try to buy a Christmas decoration from the places we visit and then when we hang them on the tree, and we reminisce about the places we bought them.
What local spot in your city/town do you love most? Why is it personally important to you?
In Bristol I love Clifton Village, as the 18th century architecture is so elegant. There are lots of great boutiques and cafes where we like to meet friends. And, of course there’s the Clifton Suspension bridge which is the landmark of the city. In August, when the Balloon Fiesta is on, we take a picnic up to the grassy area above the bridge, together with half of Bristol, and watch the balloons float over in the early evening.