We all dream of grand adventures. Lunch by the Seine, dinner in Rome, or breakfast watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Especially when we’re sitting at the local diner, clutching an antacid, and wishing we were absolutely anywhere else but stuck at home.
If you think your corner of the world doesn’t offer much in terms of a staycation, try seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. These tips will help you become a traveler in your hometown, and may make the familiar exciting again.
- Make a Plan
Most people have a pretty clear idea of what a vacation means to them. Some see it as an opportunity to try different foods, while others go looking for places to experience the local culture. Whether you need a hill to climb or want to do absolutely nothing but people-watch, decide how you’re going to spend your time – just as you would on a normal vacation. If you don’t plan for your hometown adventure, it’s unlikely to ever happen.
- Do Your Research
You don’t know what you don’t know. Don’t assume you can find all the attractions and cool places to eat just because you’ve lived somewhere for years. Start with the airport or a big hotel, where you’ll find tons of tourist brochures to bring home. You’ll not only discover things you never knew existed but will get a different take on places you’ve already been especially if you haven’t been there for a long time. Ask your friends where they take people who come to visit from out of town and scour the web for “things to do in…”
- Leave the Car at Home
Tourists don’t usually drive themselves around a strange city – they walk or take the bus. Walking to admire is a lot different than walking to get somewhere, and you may notice all kinds of new and interesting landmarks when you observe the world as a visitor. Taking a tour is also a great way to learn about what other people think is really special about your town. If you want a whole new perspective, ask your fellow travelers what they’ve enjoyed most about their journey through your backyard.
- See the Sights.
Every town has something it boasts about. The world’s biggest axe (Nackawic, Canada), or the hotel with the greatest number of rooms (Izmailovo, Moscow). Whatever happens to be your town’s claim to fame, go and take a look. It’s amazing how many people who live in Washington have never visited the Lincoln Memorial. If you live in a small town, expand your sightseeing to the whole county, and find out what lies at the end of those side roads you’ve never taken.
- Make Home Off-Limits
If you want to really immerse yourself as a tourist, get a room for the night at a little boutique hotel or B&B. No going home if you’ve forgotten something, and no sneaking back. Ask the front desk for suggestions, and eat in a restaurant you’ve never been to before. You’re going to feel a lot more like a tourist if you pack a bag and shut the front door firmly behind you.
Deciding to be a tourist in your hometown, even if it’s only for a day, is guaranteed to satisfy your craving for adventuring. There’s probably a dozen or more museums, galleries, stores and attractions that you always promised yourself you’d visit one day, but just never found the time. This is your chance, so start planning for a memorable adventure that’s close to home, and even closer to your heart.