Jessica Festa a RoamRight Blog Author

How To Explore Your Hometown Like A Tourist

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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.

Seek Out New Attractions

What makes 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.

In your 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.

Give Yourself A Mission

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.

Buy A DSLR Camera

One thing 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.

Talk To Locals

Think about 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.

Change Your Routine

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.

Take A Tour

When 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?

About the Author

Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa, a RoamRight Blog Author 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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