Do you feel like you need a holiday already? Why not make your weekend a vacation by being a tourist in your own hometown? This may not be as exciting as travelling to an exotic destination you’ve never been to before, but you’ll certainly have fun.
We all have a mental list of places in and around our hometown we’ve promised ourselves to visit ‘one day’. As you’re reading this article, I challenge you to recall that list and write down the places you’d like to visit. Make a hometown bucket list.
I live in Strand, a seaside town in South Africa. Our town’s main attraction is our 5 km-long beach. I remember Clara, a German friend who visited a while ago, saying our beach reminds her of Miami. Although I had never thought of it that way before, the resemblance became clear to me: the palm trees along Strand Beach’s sidewalk, the Dubai-style apartment blocks combined with the 70s-style beachfront homes, and the beach bars and restaurants.
Some families have to wait all year to visit Strand in the December holidays, but I get to wake up in this exciting paradise every day and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. The beach, the markets, the local Cheetah Outreach, the surrounding wine farms, you name it – it’s all there, waiting for me to explore.
I challenge you to get excited about your hometown too. The following five tips will help you to become a tourist in your own town so that your excitement for your hometown can be reawakened.
5 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
1. Revisit your favourite attraction
You know, one of those places you just couldn’t get enough of once upon a time? It could be as simple as a park, the local cinema, or the library, or it could even be the planetarium.
If you’re still living in the town in which you grew up, visit your favourite childhood attraction. If possible, invite a childhood friend along and reminisce about what it was like growing up in your hometown. Joke about old times – “Laughter is an instant vacation,” as Milton Berle once said.
2. Try a new restaurant
Instead of getting takeaways or going to the same old restaurant you always go to, try someplace new for a change. Eat at an exotic Indian or Greek restaurant. Or go ahead and give one of the newest restaurants in your town a try; they’ll definitely appreciate the support.
Even if it ends up being a total disaster, at least you’ll have a funny story to tell your friends!
3. Spend a night in a hotel
There’s nothing like waking up in a hotel or guesthouse to make you feel like a proper tourist. Book a night in that guest house your friend or favourite local blogger recommended.
After enjoying a buffet breakfast, head out into town, and start exploring the exciting attractions your town has to offer.
4. Visit a museum/art gallery you haven’t been to before
Learn about your town’s history by visiting a local museum that you’ve always avoided because it seems boring. If art’s more your thing, try out an art gallery you haven’t visited yet. Who knows, you may even walk out feeling inspired.
5. Act like a tourist
Lastly, remember to act like a legit tourist. Take a lot of photos and videos. Ask questions – at information counters, in museums or shops, even in the streets. Buy souvenirs for yourself or friends. Explore local hiking trails.
Do research on exciting activities your area has to offer: follow a few local blogs (Google is your friend), keep an eye on the newspapers for activities and events, or Facebook stalk your friends to see what they’ve gotten up to in your hometown.
Try new things. See new places. Make new memories. And stay curious.
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