Why do we miss Manchester so much?
“We quit our 9-5 jobs, exchanged our wardrobes for backpacks and left Manchester on a one way ticket to Thailand.”
With our passports in one hand and an airplane ticket in the other, we set off on the journey of a lifetime. We have been in South East Asia now for over three months and have adored every single second of it. We have kayaked through the caves of Halong Bay and ate with elephants in Northern Thailand, we have driven scooters through various beach towns in Vietnam and drank beers with locals in Cambodia. Through all these unforgettable memories that we have created and all the spectacular sights that we have sought after, Manchester will always be in our hearts. It sounds crazy we know, adventure of a lifetime yet we’re sat here writing about Manchester, but it’s only when you leave somewhere that you truly appreciate all that it has to offer.
So in this article we have selected just a few of the things that we miss about the illustrious hub that is Manchester.
[if !supportLists]1) [endif]Canal Street
Manchester is very well known for its LGBT scene, and Canal Street is the home to over 30 LGBT bars, clubs and restaurants. This dynamic and diverse street plays host to many fantastic nights out and is the centre piece to the annual LGBT pride parade that marches through the streets of Manchester every year. You are guaranteed to see so many friendly faces here on a night out and it’s actually the setting for the tv show “Queer as Folk”.
We miss Canal Street so much because there is no where like it in the World, we've tried to find somewhere similar, but its one in a million! Everyone is so warm and welcoming, it really feels like home. It’s also brilliant if you're on a budget since during the week there are plenty of drinks offers on in different bars that you certainly wont leave the place thirsty!
[if !supportLists]2) [endif]The Food
From the Northern Quarter to Spinningfields, Piccadilly Gardens to Oxford Road, if you're craving it, Manchester will have it. There is an abundance of variety of food in Manchester, catering for all tastes and preferences, so you will never go hungry. If you like spicy food such as Indian and Pakistani dishes, you’ve got the curry mile in Rusholme. If you prefer to have a burger and fries that will keep you satisfied for hours then you can try Almost Famous or Solita’s in the Northern Quarter. If you are a fitness fanatic and like to eat healthy, then look no further than Kettlebell Kitchen.
We use to love having so much variety and choice on our doorstep. Literally any food we could think of, we could get it in Manchester. One of the restaurants that we are really missing is Lust Liquor & Burn in the Northern Quarter, if you haven't tried one of their marvellous mouthwatering burritos, then you haven't lived.
[if !supportLists]3) [endif]Trafford Centre
The Trafford Centre is one of largest shopping centres in the UK. This famous shopping and leisure centre attracts visitors from all over England, especially on the weekends. It’s home to over 250 shops and services so it really has something for everyone! If clothes shopping is your passion then you are in luck as there is a H&M, Topshop and New Look to name just a few of the fabulous clothing shops. There is also a Selfridges which is filled with designer boutiques and big name brands. If you are looking for that perfect gift for a special occasion then you can try Pandora, Laura Ashley or F Hind plus many more shops! If you are organising a day out or a date then the Trafford Centre will cover all your needs. It has an IMAX cinema along with bowling, and for when the hunger kicks in you can choose from over 40 different restaurants and eateries.
Before we set off for South East Asia we use to spend a lot of time in the Trafford Centre picking up last minute supplies, travel clothes and when our budget allowed, we would treat ourselves to some Thai food in Tampopo, which is a must try for anyone venturing to the Trafford Centre.
[if !supportLists]4) [endif]Music Scene
Manchester is the birthplace to several magnificent musicians and bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses and The Smiths. So as you can imagine, the music scene in Manchester is pretty impressive and the standards are extremely high. With music venues like the MEN arena, o2 Apollo and the Academy, huge artists will play sold out concerts to crowds of thousands. There are more local venues such as Band On The Wall in the Northern Quarter where up and coming artists get a chance to showcase their talents to a smaller but just as lively, audience. If dance music and big name DJs are more your scene, then grab yourself a ticket for the Warehouse Project.
We have been to many concerts and gigs outside of Manchester, but there is just something about the atmosphere at the concerts in the Northern City that makes you feel like you are part of something bigger. At the end of last year we bought tickets to see Steve Aoki play to a full house at the Warehouse Project, it was one of those nights that neither of us will forget. We had previously seen him play in Ibiza so we thought, not a chance will Manchester compare to Ibiza, but to our delightful surprise we were wrong!
As sad as it is being away from home and pining for Manchester, we are very lucky. If we made this journey years ago it would be a lot more difficult to stay in touch with family and friends and keep up to date with whats happening back at home. Thankfully nowadays with everyone using social media, in just a few clicks we can feel like we are back home again. We are both major fans of Instagram and Facebook and we use them everyday. It’s almost like a ritual every morning to lie in bed for 20 minutes before getting up, to scroll through our newsfeed and timelines. So even though we are over 5,000 miles away, sometimes we feel closer to home than ever!
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