Travel is an
extremely rewarding and enriching part of life. Unfortunately, limited vacation
days, monthly bills and busy schedules mean you can't always be jet setting
around the world. The good news is it's possible to re-create the feeling of
traveling right in your hometown. Try the following tips to see your home with
curious eyes and feel like you're on the road even when you haven't left home.
life feel so different when we're traveling compared to when we’re home is that
everything is new and exciting. Art galleries, parks, museums and restaurants
are all places of wonderment when on the road, despite the fact you probably
have most of these at home. It's the idea you’re doing something atypical in a
place you’ve never been that plants that big smile on your face.
hometown you may not be able to change the destination, but you can seek out
novel experiences. Is there a museum you’ve never been to? An art gallery
you've passed 100 times but never stepped into? A restaurant you want to try?
Create an itinerary for yourself -- either packing a day full of new things to
do or spacing activities out throughout the month -- and follow it up like a
travel guide. This will also help you uncover some of the more alluring aspects
of your hometown.
One way to
create a sense of wonderment about your hometown is to give yourself a question
to wonder about -- in the form of a mission, that is. Put yourself on a quest that
gives you a reason to get out, explore and discover. Think about something that
interests you and tailor it to fit the task. Do you love Mexican food? Seek out
your hometown’s best tacos. Are you into photography? Find the top five spots
to take a sunset photo. History buff? Head to local museums and libraries and
research some interesting people from your hometown's past. At the very least
you'll become an expert on a local subject.
most travelers have in common is they're always taking photos; however, how
often do you snap pictures in your hometown? Buy a DSLR – or at least a high
quality point-and-shoot camera – and pick up photography as a hobby. Once you
make this investment, you'll be more likely to roam around your hometown,
looking at everything with curious eyes as you try to capture beautiful moments
on film. Bonus: On your next real trip you’ll be a pro at taking travel photos.
how chatty you are when traveling: You ask the cab driver what city he's from,
the bartender what his favorite watering hole is, your local guide endless
questions about culture and heritage. But, what do you ask your fellow
community members? If you think you have nothing to learn from these people
since you're a local too, think again. Pretend you're visiting your hometown
from another country and you want to learn about the interesting people who
compose this community: The artists, business owners, politicians, musicians,
students, the elderly man who sits in the coffee shop all day reading the
paper. It doesn’t matter where you live; everyone has a story to tell. Engage
with these people, and find out what theirs is.
It's easy to
fall into a routine when you’re home: Wake up, go to work, make dinner, watch
TV, go to bed, and repeat. While you may not be able to give your routine a
complete makeover, even small changes can add some excitement to your day. Try
taking a new route to work and see if you discover any interesting attractions
along the way. Instead of watching television, go for walk in the park or have
coffee with a friend. Give yourself a night off from cooking and eat at the new
Italian restaurant that opened around the block. Sprinkling novelty into your
day helps create a similar feeling to travel.
planning for a trip, travelers often research fun excursions to add into their
itineraries; however, it's unusual to take a tour when you're in your own hometown.
Change that and sign up for a local tour to learn about your hometown from
someone else's point of view. You may know some historical facts or have your
own opinion about where to get the best pizza, but hearing another local talk
about the place you live can bring new topics to light and give you a new
perspective of the place you thought you knew so well.
Have you been a tourist in your hometown? What did you do?
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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