How To Be A Tourist In Your Own Town?
It happens to most of us every once in a while: we feel like we need a change, we want to see something new, we desire to break free from the routine. This feeling is what motivates us to book a flight and plan a trip to that exotic destination we always dreamed of… But what if you don’t have the time or the money to do that? What if all you have is one weekend off from your job, and a burning desire to run away from the routine? There’s a solution for that as well – become a tourist in your own town!
“And how can I do that?” – you must be asking in disbelief. Could a Tripadvisor page about your own town really help you feel like you actually traveled to a new place? Read on and find out.
0. – Stay outside as much as possible
You probably never saw a list starting with zero. Well, this list does, because the whole idea is rather pointless without doing this. You need to develop the mindset of a tourist. Whenever you travel to a new place, you’re most likely to spend most of your time outside your hotel room. That’s how you should view your own home during this little home-made escape: as a tourist. So, stay outside as much as possible, and do the following:
1. – Visit museums and historic monuments/sites
As absurd as this may sound, most people go to museums in cities they visit as tourists, while they completely ignore the museums of their own town. Even if this doesn’t apply to you, visiting a museum is hardly a part of your daily routine. Now is the perfect time to change that. Go ahead; visit your hometown’s museum. You never know what amazing things you can learn about your town’s history.
Even if you think you already know it all, you will now get the chance to learn something new. As far as historic sites go, you may be more familiar with them, but this is a perfect opportunity to revisit them. Make sure to act and think as a tourist who knows nothing about the monuments and sites in question – ask questions, get a tour guide if possible, and learn something new about the place you’re visiting. See your town from a new point of view.
2. Go to a restaurant or a cafe you never visited so far
We all have our favorite places to go and hang out at, but when you’re a tourist, every place you visit is completely new and unknown to you. So find out about new cafes and restaurants, or visit the ones you’ve always planned on visiting, but somehow never got the time. While you’re there, order a meal or a beverage you never tried so far. It’s all about the new experience, remember? For the more adventurous types, here’s an extra tip: go to a place you never even liked and never wanted to visit in the first place. You may like the experience and decide to go there more often from now on (which is exactly the whole point of traveling – opening your mind to new things).
Or, alternatively, you may realize that you really don’t like the place and that you were right about not wanting to go there. And you know what? That’s fine too. It will be a new experience, and it will definitely be something you’ll tell your friends about when your tour of the town is over.
3. Organize a short trip to some village/ forest/ any tourist attraction nearby
You know how there’s this amazing forest, or a beach, or an archeological site, or a nice little village just outside your town? You know how you always wanted to go there, but always postponed it, because it’s just a twenty minute ride and you knew you could go there whenever you wanted? And finally, you know how you never actually went there? Now imagine you went to a foreign country and read about such a place in a tourist guide book – it would probably be one of your top priorities. Find out about the tourist attractions nearby and make them your top priorities now. You will most likely be amazed when you learn about the beauty that was so near you this whole time. This will be yet another discovery you’ll tell your friends about, and, more importantly: yet another beautiful memory.
4. Organize a small gathering for friends in a local park
Of all the places we mentioned so far, parks are probably the ones you visit most often. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them during your tour of the town. On the contrary – you should enjoy them fully. Don’t limit yourself to a walk in the park, go further and organize a little picnic with your friends. Enjoy the peace and quiet that nature has to offer, and get some rest from your other activities. Even though you often spend time in the same park, it’s highly unlikely you organize picnics regularly, so do it now. It’s another memory worth making.
5. Take lots and lots of photos, just like a tourist would.
How many times did you stand in awe in front of an amazing building in your hometown? Unless you’re a professional photographer, it’s safe to say that you rarely feel enchanted by the beauty of your own town: you see it every day, you’ve been there for years (your whole life maybe) – so why should you take time to stop and admire it on a daily basis? Even though this reasoning makes sense, while you’re a tourist in your own town, you need to forget about it. Look at the beauty of your town with new eyes, and take some photos.
Take lots of them. That’s just what tourists do in a town they’re visiting for the first time. On the other hand, just take a look at all the activities you’ll do: visiting historical sites, trying out new meals, having a picnic with friends in the park, making a short trip to a tourist attraction nearby: these new experiences deserve a photo. Selfies are overrated in most occasions. Instead of them, go for photos that will immortalize your memories.
All of these activities will make you forget about the daily routine you wanted to break, but that’s not all. They will give you a new perspective on your town and on your place in it. You will learn about new places, make new memories, see new beauty in the same old streets and you’ll get out of this experience feeling like you actually traveled to a new place. You may include more of these activities in your day-to-day activities, which means that your routine will become more interesting. And last but not least, every time you pass by the places you visited, you’ll joyfully remember that amazing weekend you spent as a tourist in your own town.
About Author: Milica is an amateur writer (aspiring to become more than just an amateur), who loves movies, books and travel. When she’s not doing any of the above, she’s most likely daydreaming about it.