Ugh! I don’t know about you, but Covid continues to wreak havoc on my travel plans. So, what are we going to do? It could be a while before things return (completely) to normal.
One idea is to embrace the idea of being a tourist in your town because – come on! I’m sure there’s so much you’ve never seen in and around your town. So, why not try to see things in a new way, with brand new eyes (or rose-colored glasses)?
Here’s a list of some fun ways to get you started:
1. Pretend you’re a journalist. Bring a camera and get ready to capture new sights.
Since I started blogging a little over a year ago, I’ve taken my camera with me more often. I’ve found that I pay attention to so much more detail when looking through my lens. I suddenly notice and appreciate things I’ve seen hundreds of times before. It might make you feel excited and inspired.
Give it a try!
2. Create your local bucket list to (efficiently) become a tourist in your town.
I’m a fan of curating lists of dreams and goals. So, another idea is to find a place in your home to keep a running list of local places you’d like to explore. Make your plan, get out there, and don’t forget to check it off your list! Everytime you have a free afternoon, you know exactly where to turn for a great idea.
3. Choose a different path along the way.
We are creatures of habit and tend to take the same path to the same places every day. Try going in a new direction, and you may discover something you’ve never seen. There are endless treasures to explore – even if it’s a neighbor’s rose garden around an unexpected turn. It might truly brighten your day.
4. See your hometown from a different vantage point.
I’ve lived in Boston on and off for 11 years, and it wasn’t until I visited the Encore hotel’s roof deck a few years ago that I could genuinely appreciate Boston’s spectacular architecture and urban feel from up high. It was so fun to sit outside and have cocktails while watching the sun set over the city. (You can still experience this now in igloos – maybe not quite the same, but you get the idea :-)
Be a tourist in your town by seeing your city from a new view. You’ll get to enjoy it like it’s brand new again.
5. Be a tourist in your town by exploring a local venue for the first time.
Is there a venue you’ve in your city that you’ve never explored? LA is our other home city, and believe it or not, it wasn’t until this past year that we went out and explored the Walt Disney Music Hall to see Gustavo Dudamel conduct the LA Phil.
We made a full day of it, stopping for breakfast at the famous Original Pantry Cafe and a quick tour of The Broad Contemporary Art Museum along the way. We felt like tourists, and it was awesome. Wandering freely made the city feel like an endless playground. It never gets old.
6. Try putting your phone away while you’re out to stay more present in the world around you.
When you’re traveling along the south of France (I’ve never been – but stay with me here), you probably have your phone stored deep inside your bag. And you may even forget to check it every ten minutes, too. So another strategy to be a tourist in your town is to do precisely the same thing.
Try putting your phone away, and embrace your environment with wide-eyed enthusiasm. This goes back to the quote that inspired me to start this blog in the beginning:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
7. Be a tourist in your town by eating locally.
When you’re in the mood to be a tourist in your town, make a point of trying a new local restaurant. I was reminded of this yesterday as my husband and I made a last-minute day trip to Boston. We spent the day wandering around Beacon Hill, and as we got into the car to drive home, we passed through Chinatown.
I thought to myself, “Why don’t we ever come here? When we’re in San Francisco or New York, we love exploring restaurants in Chinatown.” There’s that mindset again! We need to think like tourists – and stop for Dim Sum.
8. Visit an outdoor park or garden and spend time taking it in.
I want to add one last thing to try being a tourist in your home town – choose to spend an afternoon at an outdoor park or garden. Last year when we were in LA, one day, I decided I wanted to explore a new outdoor space. So, we packed up and headed over to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It was honestly one of our favorite days of the year.
We wandered through and checked out all of the exotic gardens and fascinating landmarks. There was so much to see. I want to get back again soon.
So, if you’re in the Northeast and you’re thinking, “Yeah, right! That seems great – but it’s freezing over here. I don’t think so!” There’s still hope! You can always get bundled up and head out for a walk in the snow. We recently explored a local trail here in Cohasset called Holly Hill Farm. And, you know what? It was so peaceful and serene. We loved it.
Bottom line – you can choose to explore your hometown with wide-eyed enthusiasm and experience it as if you’re seeing it for the very first time. Don’t you agree?
There is so much you can explore. So, why wait? Get started now!
Ps: Are you open to visiting a city in the US? Check out my thoughts on Detroit here.
Or, are you hoping to travel out of the county soon? See my favorite things about my stay in Punta Mita here.