A letter arrived for me last Thursday, welcoming me on becoming a member of the National Trust. For the past two years I had been going over the pros and cons of the membership, wondering whether I’d have a chance to actually use it. Finally, last Sunday, I decided to sign up.
The National Trust is an organisation dedicated to the conservation of historical buildings and objects as well as areas of natural beauty. Becoming a member of the National Trust gives you free or discounted entry to a number of historically and culturally significant sites not only within Australia but throughout the world.
So why did I wait to join the National Trust until after I came back from a trip to the UK? Before I left on my holiday, I knew that an Australian membership would give me discounts to National Trust properties in the UK. I could have saved myself several pounds in entry fees to Gladstone’s Land in Edinburgh, the Glenfinnan Monument in the Scottish Highlands, and Aberconwy House in Wales. But the truth was I wasn’t sure that I would get my money’s worth out of the $211 National Trust membership ($176 for a three year individual membership plus a $35 joining fee). I might have saved some money during my trips overseas, but when I returned to Australia and fell back in to my daily non-travelling routine, would I make an effort to visit the nearby properties managed by the National Trust in order to outweigh the membership cost?
Then I realised – does it really matter whether I get my money’s worth out of the membership? Shouldn’t it be enough to me that I’ve made a contribution towards the conservation and promotion of a part of my country’s history? Shouldn’t it be enough that my membership supports two of my greatest interests: history and period architecture?
Yes, I decided. Rather than worry about getting the most out of my National Trust membership that I can, I should concentrate on the positive effect it will have towards continuing to conserve our history for future generations. It’s part of what makes me want to travel. It’s part of what made me want to start this blog.
Interested in becoming a National Trust member? Find out more about the work the National Trust does and the locations they protect: