The Ultimate Guide to Being a Traveller at Home
Not everyone can travel the world all the time – in fact, very few of us can. However, that’s not to say you can’t play being a traveller at home, seeking out cool new spots and interesting stories metres away from your front door. To cure the stay-at-home blues and open your eyes to all the wonders of where you live, follow this traveller at home guide (and get ready to be blown away).
When it comes to being a traveller at home, curiosity is key. If you look back to past travel experiences in other places, the chances are you did some research and made the effort to understand more about that destination before visiting. Why not do the same for your own home town? To become an expert at exploring home, we must ask as many questions and be just as inquisitive as we would when travelling anywhere else.
Love where you live
Our home towns will only give back to us as much love as we give to them. If you loathe where you live, it will continue to be a dull, uninspiring place. To discover the new and interesting, we must be excited about the place we’re from, and proud to call it home. Equipped with that kind of positive mental attitude, new experiences and discoveries will naturally come our way.
Dare to try new things
Being a traveller at home means avoiding routine at all costs. To feel like we’re finding something new, we need to switch things up and go boldly into new experiences and opportunities. If you’re used to one neighbourhood or always cycle your city, head somewhere new and discover it on foot. When you find yourself running in the same social circles, seek out a completely different group to discover how they view the place you all call home. In any given month, push yourself to try at least one thing you’ve never done before.
Make the commitment
If you’re dabbling with the idea of seeing more of home, but think you don’t have the time or money, you must jump in with both feet. It takes forcing ourselves out of our usual weekly routine to really become a traveller at home, but the rewards are big and quick to pay off. The more you seek out, the more will be revealed to you. Leap out of bed on your days off and get excited about the day ahead as you would do travelling anywhere else.
Venture to new neighbourhoods
It’s easy to find ourselves walking the same streets to work or catching the same bus to a friend’s house, but this does nothing for discovering new things. Dedicate weekends and time off to visiting a new neighbourhood, one you’ve never set foot in before. Take lots of time to get to know it well and in-depth, instead of skimming over it. Do this with all the neighbourhoods in your city and you’ve got years of exploration ahead.
Read local publications
It may have never crossed your mind to read a local newspaper or magazine, but these are often full of ideas and recommendations for things to see and do – especially events. There could be a festival going on or a market nearby that you had no idea about, but these publications will help you find them.
They can also connect you with new groups to join. Book clubs or fitness classes often advertise in these journals – pick one that takes your fancy and go along one day.
Most of us maintain regular fitness routines at home, ones that we carry out on autopilot. But being interested in stay fit and healthy offers an ideal opportunity for being a traveller at home. If we combine a love of staying in shape with discovery, new places will open up to us to explore. This could be something as simple as changing your running route, or cycling to work instead of driving – even these small tweaks make a big difference to the way you perceive home.
Go one step further and try and sport of activity you’ve never tried before. Start looking at lakes or rivers near you and try wild swimming or stand-up paddle boarding. Buy yourself some rollerblades and find a nice flat part of town to cruise through. It’s miraculous how simply moving our bodies in a different way can change the way we look at spaces we see on a daily basis.
Discover through food
We all have to eat, and that’s a fact. And most of us love to eat, so why not combine necessity with discovery? Whether you’re whipping up new concoctions in your kitchen with ingredients you can’t even pronounce, or taking a tour of world cuisines through restaurants across town, food is one of the best ways to transport your body across the world without having to move very far.
Taste can also reignite old travel memories and take you back to those humble streets in Asia or the best pizza you had in Italy. If you’re struck by a case of the blues because you’re not travelling the world, go and find something delicious to eat that will remind you of adventures gone by.
Seek out the best views
There are few things more pleasing to the eye than a beautiful view. Setting out to find the best views around our home towns is one of the coolest ways to step into new places and (quite literally) see things from a new perspective.
Once you start looking for great views in a city, you’ll realise how many buildings are open to the public – each offer a different viewpoint from the top. When you’re out in the countryside and looking for sweeping panoramas, you’ll stumble upon new walking trails that lead you to summits. Views are a great thing to focus on if you’re not sure where you start when exploring at home.
Getting at one with the great outdoors is one of the best focuses the keep when improving your traveller at home game. Setting ourselves the challenge of finding stunning nature spots near where we live is one of the best ways to realise how much beauty is right in front of us.
Start by looking up the national parks nearby and explore them whenever you can. Then start taking a look at more obscure pockets of nature – rivers or lakes, wildlife reserves – that you may have overlooked before. Get to know them, and learn about their flora and fauna along the way.
Explore the suburbs
When you live in a city, it’s easy to presume all the fun lies in the central districts. While these are certainly busier, that’s not to say there’s nothing to be discovered just outside of town. We must make the effort to look to the suburbs for things to see and do to give ourselves a refreshing change of pace and scenery. Work your way around a city’s borders to take a look at how each suburb has its own identity and way of life. This form of exploration will open your eyes to the many different sides to your city, and alternate experiences people have there.
Ask friends and family
One of the most beautiful things about the world is that we all see things from different perspectives. What might be our favourite hangout in our home town may not be someone else’s. One great way to discover is to ask as many people as possible what they love about home and where they feel happiest in it. You may even find that some of your closest friends come up with answers you’ve never thought of.
We’ve found that grandparents can be a fountain of information and new ideas. For many people in the older generation, home has changed considerably over the years, so ask your grandparents what it was like back when they were your age. Where did they used to hang out? Could they take you there now and tell you more about it?
Get into photography
A passion for photography makes us see the world differently. What was once a boring street corner is now a unique pattern of lines, shapes, and light, and worthy of having its picture taken. Buy yourself a standard camera and go out for walks through home to take pictures. Snap things that interest you and moments that you witness along the way. Once you start looking at things with a critical and precise photographers eye, you’ll notice things you would have otherwise entirely skimmed over.
Be careful to find the balance between looking at life through a lens and seeing things with your own eyes. Take a few pictures then spend some time appreciating the scene with your own eyes, without technology helping you. Use photography simply as a gateway to exploring and discovering more.
How do you practice being a traveller at home?