For some, away days are about much more than the football.

Many factors are at play. Torquay, for example, is an excellent weekend away in August or April but a drag during a wet November.

Plastic pitches are, for me, to be avoided wherever possible. Other clubs have their own stories.

Wrexham are a club with tradition and a large ground, which I feel like we visit twice as often as anywhere else.

Sutton have great community links but another plastic pitch. That one can be tolerated, just, by a pre-match visit to Carshalton.

As with all these things, these are individual preferences. Boreham Wood is often a grim trip and one I vow not to make as each season commences, but a visit to London on the train can make it a more interesting day.

Likewise, Eastleigh are a friendly club but the trip is much better with a visit to Winchester before. Eastleigh, incidentally, should never be attempted for a Tuesday night game by any but the most deranged, as several of us can attest…

Any Barrow away fan will feel they have seen enough of Kent in recent years. However, there is a certain badge of honour about making the long trip, finishing in the hill climb to the Crabble Athletic Ground at Dover.

Others won’t understand anything I’ve just said. They go simply to back their team for 90 minutes.

An away day unfolds like a story, sometimes a heart-warming tale of triumph over adversity, occasionally a full-scale disaster.

Out of that will come amazing moments of joy, utter frustration, sometimes boredom and a lot of laughs, none of which will make much sense to a disbelieving taxi driver at 5:30am on a Saturday in February when you tell him you are heading to catch a bus from Ramsden Square to Aldershot.

Some of the attraction has to do with the people you spend it with, young, old and all points between.

The Bluebirds Trust bus is a mainstay which we try to promote as much as possible.

The journeys are long and you get to know people you have never met and form lasting friendships and a working knowledge of Norton Caines Service Station. It really does become like a family, but newcomers are also always welcomed.

It can be utterly addictive. And every season; league or cup, north or south, rain or shine, there are new chapters.

*You might have noticed an unusual team photo on social media last week, as Barrow AFC extended their reach as far as South Africa.

Children from Meetsee a Bophelo School in Mamelodi received Bluebirds shirts as a token of friendship from their partner school, St George’s in Barrow.

It’s part of British Council-funded work to extend international understanding and helps both children and staff to enjoy and learn a more international curriculum with real examples.

The school wanted to share with Mamelodi cultural items that represent the area and, as a mark of respect and through the Trust, Barrow AFC donated the kits.

Items such as Kendal Mint Cake and Cumbrian Crystal also made it into the case, as did a canvas celebrating our shipbuilding, Furness Abbey and other views and landmarks of our area.

However, not many things represent an area like a sporting institution and Barrow AFC is in the fabric of the community.

Next year, teachers from Mamelodi will come to Barrow and hopefully they’ll take in a game.

As their local team, Mamelodi Sundowns, made the African Champions League semi-finals, it will be interesting to see what they make of the National League.

I’m sure they will receive a warm Barrovian welcome at Holker Street.

*Last week saw what is known among non-league football fans as the ‘AGM Cup,’ where trials and tribulations off the field come to bite a football club at the National League Annual General Meeting.

Local communities are too often the ones to be penalised for the failings of owners.

Barrow, of course, have suffered from this in the not-too-distant past and this week Gateshead look likely to be heading two divisions down to the Evo-Stick Premier.

Yet where there are losers there are also winners and Aldershot, who were preparing for life in National League South, could now be reprieved.

It’s always sad when this fate befalls a club as it impacts peoples’ jobs, not just among the playing staff but also local people with deep connections to the area. It also shows the importance of sustainability off the pitch, which we are hopefully seeing take hold at Holker Street.

Football is a business like no other, as it’s about community and passion as well as money. We wish Gateshead the best of luck as they turn their focus to resetting a few steps down.

Anyone connected to Barrow AFC knows it can be a very hard road back.