Think you’ve seen everything there is to see in your own city? Think again! Check out these 8 ways to be a tourist in your own city
Although not everyone has the flexibility to travel, you might have easier access to exploration than you think! If you’ve lived in the same place for a period of time, you might feel like you’ve seen everything there is to see. But what if we told you that you haven’t? Or at least you haven’t with a whole new mindset: The tourist mindset.
Did you know
there are educational benefits and health benefits to exploring new places? Exploring and learning about new places (yes, even new places in old places, aka your own city) are great ways to seek adventure and hopefully scratch the travel bug that’s been itching even if you can’t physically travel. Plus, by exploring your own city you can avoid the inevitable hassles of traveling, you won’t have to spend nearly as much, and you can give yourself a mini vacation without having to worry about taking time off work, school, or your regular routine. Here are 8 innovative ways to play tourist in your own city!
1. Participate in local customs
Does your city have something it’s known for like great pizza, movie nights at the park, or Saturday morning farmers markets? If you’ve always known these local customs occured, but only thought they were meant to attract tourists, give them a try! Try doing some research on your city’s local customs or popular events and seek them out while you’re playing tourist. You may even feel a stronger connection to your city after!
2. Take a different mode of transportation
If you regularly commute to work or school and stick to one mode of transportation such as driving or walking, try mixing it up a little. While you’re playing tourist or out on your day of adventure, try a new mode of transportation such as biking around town, taking the subway, or hey maybe even something like rollerblading! Taking a new mode of transportation gives you a literally different perspective, which means you’l pick up on things you don’t see day to day.
3. Visit museums you haven’t been to before
If your city has popular museums and you’ve never thought to actually go visit them, then check them out! Most museums are inexpensive and some even offer discounts on certain days or for students, teachers, etc. Visiting museums is also common activity for people who are travelling, so exploring one in your own city will help you feel like you’re on vacation. Plus, you’ll reap the educational benefits of travel without physically travelling.
4. Eat at a new restaurant
We know you’ve got your fave Thai place around the corner, but it’s easy to get in a rut of eating at the same places all the time. Even if they’re your most favorite, try thinking outside the box and exploring a new place. Maybe a hole in the wall joint or a sunset dinner cruise? Try doing a search of top restaurants in your city and maybe try one you’ve never heard of or been to!
5. Go on a walking tour
People tend to walk significantly more while travelling and the health benefits of low-intensity walking are immense. How often have you walked around your city and actually taken in what’s around you? Try planning a walking tour where you visit sights or walk places that you generally drive or pass through without taking a glance. Maybe even encourage yourself to point out 10 new things about your city you had never noticed before!
6. Visit your city’s most popular landmarks
Is there a famous bridge, church, monument, or building in your city? Maybe you’ve always known about or passed by these landmarks, but never taken time to appreciate them. If so, try visiting these landmarks and learning about their importance in your city. You can even incorporate them into your walking tour!
7. Ask someone for directions
This may sound silly, but nothing will make you feel more like a tourist than asking for directions in your own city (even if you know them!). If you can muster up the confidence, try approaching a stranger (preferably someone who looks like a local) and ask them for directions to a new restaurant, landmark, museum, etc. They’ll never know you’re actually a local too!
8. Explore the natural resources in your city
Do you have natural beauty/ resources around your city? If so, take advantage of them while you’re playing tourist. Exploring nature can help make you kinder, happier, and more creative. If you’re unsure about the natural resources around you, try doing a web search. You may be surprised to found how much the natural world has to offer, whether it be a hike in the mountains, a flowing river nearby, or even a neat hidden hot springs. If the nearest natural resources are not directly in your city, maybe try planning a day trip with friends or family to go exploring!
Isn’t it funny how many tourist activities we do while on vacation that we’d never think of doing in our own city? Even if you feel like you’ve seen it all, you may not have seen it through the tourist mindset. So save the stress of travel and plan a day to get exploring your cool city!