Travel Adventures Await in Your Own Town, Too

overlooking city

Written by Therese Iknoian on

Every step of traveling is a thrill for Therese Iknoian. From dreaming and planning, to seeking local gems unseen by most travelers, to finding time to get to know locals, all in search of a great story for the HI Travel Tales blog she runs with her husband.

overlooking city

Time to be a tourist in your hometown because no matter where you live, there is something to see, visit or experience. Here are some tips and ideas to develop a travel adventure in your own city.

An adventure doesn’t have to mean a faraway land and a foreign culture. Having a travel adventure can also mean just seeing things with a different eye. And that can mean in your own hometown! People travel there to find fascinating travel, right? So, you too can be a tourist at home if you approach your city with fresh eyes, open to looking at everything from landmarks and museums to iconic restaurants and architecture like a newcomer.

Once you look at your local and regional area anew, you’ll discover there is a lot worth exploring and experiencing. Because adventure is a spirit, not just a place.

A quick caveat: One of the advantages of not being at home is that, when faraway, you don’t have dirty dishes, laundry to do, a bush that needs pruning, or perhaps garbage to take out. Meaning you have two choices: Either get it all done before your “travel adventure” at home. Or you just ignore it. Or both. Yes, you do still have to feed the cat or take your dog for a walk.

Ready to get exploring?

Do Your Staycation Research

Consider what you do when you are going somewhere new. You do research, either online or you head to a tourist information office.

  1. Head online to your local visitors’ website and start poking around. Look for sites you haven’t seen, museums you never went to, restaurants you’ve driven by and promised to visit someday, or grab a day pack and visitparks and trails that are touted as popular. You may be surprised what you find in your own city—and have never even heard of.
  1. Start a list of what grabs our attention, mapping it if you like to plot your hometown adventure.
  1. Even in today’s online age, there is something wonderful about a paper brochure that you can read and stash in your waist pack to inform your adventure. How about you locate the area tourist information office and drop in. You may be surprised what you find or collect to read.
  1. Ask questions. That is of course the top recommendation when you travel someplace far away for an adventure—to ask locals about what they suggest. Do the same, starting with staff in the information office. What is a popular destination? Where do you learn about area history and culture? What restaurants are a local culinary treasure or offer an adventurous spirit?

Head Out on a Hometown Adventure

It’s pretty easy to put off exploring around the corner and down the street in your own city since “it’ll always be there.” Admit it now: How many things in your hometown area have you never seen? You’ve done the research so now it’s time to change that.

  1. Make a list, grab your camera, and head out. What traveler doesn’t have a camera. C’mon, time to have great travel photos from where you live too.
  1. Allow yourself to meander. When you live somewhere, it’s too easy to just dash around running errands, meeting friends, or going somewhere you always go—the same café, the same trail, driving the same street. You are now christened A TOURIST, so choose a different route, new café, or another trail to walk.
  1. Schedule museum time. You know there are museums and historical sites in your own town you have never seen. Time to check operating hours and put those on your schedule, too.

Be Open to New Travel Experiences

You know how you often take an unplanned diversion on foot when you’re traveling internationally because something catches your eye? Time to do the same at home. If you are on foot, give yourself time to walk around and look at stores, a historic district, or perhaps a back street with interesting buildings. You can even consider organizing a local treasure hunt! Peer in windows, dawdle, go left even if you had planned to go right. You may even want to pack a picnic.

If you are driving somewhere, take a road you normally do not. That’s one of the best ways to see something new. Give yourself time to pull over and take a walk if something grabs you or, if you are heading somewhere in particular, park a little farther away and take a non-direct route to your destination.

Discovering your hometown and region doesn’t stop after one day or weekend. Subscribe to local newsletters, emails from the tourist office, and plan to be a tourist in your hometown regularly. Take the time to enjoy sights, sounds, or even people-watch. Travel adventures are really all about the journey.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Bring the Joy of Travel to Everyday Life

Why it’s Time to Embrace Microadventures

6 Reasons Why You Should Travel Locally