How to be a tourist in your own city or backyard?


Adventure Story | Travel Tips|  How do you become a tourist in your own city and why would you want to? Ever consider the reasons you should and need some tips on how it is done.  Check out my article on how to be a tourist in your own city or backyard. Click here to read the article.

Hey Adventure Friends!

So, I’m here to tell you my biggest secret for adding more adventure into your daily life.  Can you guess what it is? You need to fall in love (or back in love) with where you live.  Becoming a tourist in your own city or backyard is a game changer. Are you rolling your eyes right now? Tell the truth! Hold on, I promise to explain so stay with me.  Here are my reasons and tips for you to take the challenge of being a tourist in your own backyard.

REASONS

You Are There Anyway

Unless you are a full-time traveler or location independent person, you probably spent over 90% of your time close to your home (your city or surrounding area). Did that percentage shock you? This is assuming you receive and actually take your two weeks of vacation a year. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t end up using our full allotment of vacation for various reasons ($$$, responsibilities, days used for other things like being sick, etc.). I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all of the benefits of detaching from work and taking a mental break. So I’m going to focus on the fact that you are spending all that time in your own backyard anyway, why not enjoy yourself and your time spent there?

Change Of Perceptive

Whether you are in love, neutral or dislike your current city, you are there for a time. The time could be months, years, your entire life or just until you move on to your dream location. There is no point in just passing time while you are there. Like I mentioned above, you have the opportunity to truly fall in love or back in love with your town. I will assure you there is at least one lovable, beautiful thing about it (if nothing else, you are there and you are amazing…trust me!!!). When you allow yourself to look at the familiar with fresh eyes, do you know what happens?  Your perception of it changes.

After all the time and effort my family spent to get to our new home (Austin, TX), we were determined to soak up every experience and went on a quest to be tourists in our own backyard. However looking back, I should have done the same thing in our previous city. Instead of just passing time, I would have enjoyed the moments and activities (exploring the mountains to face-to-face chats with family & friends) no longer available to me.

One day years from now, you may look back on your time in your town and have regrets for not truly experiencing it.  You still have time to change that right now.

FUN FUN FUN

The goal is to get a little more adventure and fun into your daily life. “I don’t need a little more fun and carefree spirit in my life”…said no one ever. One of the reason people keep traveling is having experiences is FUN and so is the feeling of newness. You know you have felt it. If you could bring those same feelings to your own city, wouldn’t you at least give it a try?  SAY YES!!!

Cheaper On Your Wallet

Look, I know money can be a limited resource and we all want more of it. But sometimes we have to deal with what's available to us right now and in our bank account. However, I don’t believe that you should have to sacrifice adventure or fun because your wallet is empty until your next paycheck. If you do experiences close to your home or city, it can be cheaper which means NO EXCUSES not to do it. The reasons are obvious: you can use your own car (or whatever form of transportation), sleep in your own bed at night (no lodging $$$ & more comfortable), limit your food budget by packing a picnic or snacks to take with you. Can you see how this will allow you to experience the exhilaration, fun and newness while still allowing you to live within your means?

My husband and I have often set out on an adventure with just a full tank of gas and a backpack full of supplies (snacks, beverages, change of clothes, etc.). The only cost to us was our time during and preparing for the experience, and a tank of gas.

If You Are Still On The Fence…

I'll ask you to consider, what do you have to lose by just trying this concept of being a tourist in your city? After you have wrote down or thought about your response to this question, I want you to ask yourself one more question. If you don't try this concept and continue to think of my city in the exact same way, how likely will any change, joy or fun enter your life? And let's be honest, you truly know that nothing will change. You will miss out on the increased fun, joy and carefreeness.

 

TIPS

It's time for the tips portion of the article. How could I ask you to become a tourist in your own backyard without actually telling you how to do it? Don't worry I wouldn’t leave you without actual actions you could take. I would never do that to you.

Make Sure You Get Your Discounts

So you're in your hometown, did you know that a lot of entertainment activities will actually give discounts to locals or people who reside in that state? Now, I will say this might depend on how much tourism your area truly experiences and the type of activity. In my experience, this usually comes with entertainment activities such as amusement parks, museums and creative arts. What do you have to lose ($$$) so don't be afraid to ask for a locals’ discount. If a discount isn’t available, a lot of places have annual passes. Annual passes are great if it's the type of place that you would want to visit multiple times a year like an amusement park, museum, zoo or aquarium. Some of the best places to find these discounts at your city’s Visitor Center or you can always ask before you visit a particular attraction. I know it feels weird to ask but doesn’t hurt to try.

Get Your Selfie On At Tourist Spots

In the world of social media, we've all seen the pictures that people take at famous tourist spots or attractions. So why do we do this? Well, it can be like a stamp showing that we were actually there and it can be really fun. Yes, I will say it does appear a little staged and corny. But, what's wrong with being corny and enjoying yourself? It's okay to have a little fun and to make those followers on your Instagram or Facebook feed a little jealous. They haven't been where you are today or recently. Don't be afraid to take the famous Instagram photo kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower, or standing in front of a famous mural in your town.

My husband and I love to take silly photos. Some we share with the world and some are just for ourselves. We like to be silly and belly laugh as often as possible. Some of our favorite times have been exploring our own backyard and checking off a list of famous murals or going to wax museums and doing something silly with each display.

 

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I Love You So Much mural

Austin, TX

Do A “Best Of” Challenge

 You have all seen the list of top 10 beaches, hamburgers, things to do or whatever in your town. It can be fun to visit each of those places, things, and activities. You can mark them off your list and give them your own personal rating.  You can even come up with your own unique list.

My husband and I are big Foodies and we love exploring various types of food and finding our favorites. Living in Austin, we are definitely blessed with a Foodie’s Dream and it's easy to find a list of best barbecue, tacos, Tex Mex or Distillery.  I’m also on a quest to find the best water view in the area and I will let you know when I find it.

Take A Tour

 Have you ever taken a tour in your own city? So if you tell the truth, your answer is probably NO. So why am I suggesting you take a tour now? You've lived in the city for a while now and you already know everything right? Well that might be true. You might know the history of your city and you might know generally where stuff is (I’ll agree with you there). The main reason to take a tour is to two things:  (1) you get the chance to experience your city around people who are true tourist and (2) there's a chance you might learn something new. If you've ever been on a tour bus, biking tour or whatever, you know that there's a different type of energy there. Everyone is excited because they're in vacation mode and they are just interested in soaking up the scenery, history and it's just a different type of experience. So, sign up for ghost tour, historical tour, a pub crawl, food tour, etc. Sign up for it because you might learn something new, meet new people and generally just might have a great time.

Get Outdoors

Every place has some type of outdoor value. Whether you have majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, sandy beaches, greenery as far as the eye can see, there is beauty in that spot of the world. We are blessed that a lot of the world is protected by nature reserves and national parks. Go out and visit Mother Nature, try to spot animals in their natural habitat, take the road less traveled, and enjoy the beautiful language that nature speaks if you only learn to listen.  How do you think it would feel to unplug from the traffic, news, and notification noise for just a few hours? Everyone needs a quiet place to retreat to when the world gets a little overwhelming and a little too loud. Go out and find your quiet, beautiful place.

Adventure Story | Travel Tips|  How do you become a tourist in your own city and why would you want to? Ever consider the reasons you should and need some tips on how it is done.  Check out my article on how to be a tourtist in your own city or backyard. Click here to read the article.

Me looking out from one of my quiet places

Adventure Story | Travel Tips|  How do you become a tourist in your own city and why would you want to? Ever consider the reasons you should and need some tips on how it is done.  Check out my article on how to be a tourtist in your own city or backyard. Click here to read the article.

When you got to get outdoor in the sun after two weeks of cloudy days

Now over to you! What was your favorite reason or tip for being a tourist in your own city? What did I miss?  Share in the comments; I want to hear about it…I promise I’m reading every comment so introduce yourself!

 

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Adventure Story | Travel Tips|  How do you become a tourist in your own city and why would you want to? Ever consider the reasons you should and need some tips on how it is done.  Check out my article on how to be a tourist in your own city or backyard. Click here to read the article.

11 comments

I love exploring my own back yard! And even better getting to share it with others. It should definitely be encouraged, this was great!

Such a nice subject. Very often we forget about the place where we live in and think we have to travel very far to enjoy the world and find an adventure… When actually we haven’t even explored our own city !
Nice work!

Jessica Brown

Really enjoyed reading this! I love nothing more than just getting out and about in nature locally. And cheap on the wallet too – win win! x

Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

I love this! I definitely try to!

Giulia | ONE

I agree on everything you said. I live in a small town in the italian country-side (the ugly one, not the Tuscany one), near the city of Vicenza, which I didn’t like in my teenage years but I appreciate a lot more since I enrolled in university in Venice and lived abroad for months in a row, to the point that now I feel the need to go there every once in a while! And I have always liked my small, boring hometown – that’s true love 😀

http://www.oneonlineblog.wordpress.com

BestCapturedblog

You made some excellent points on why it’s beneficial to have staycation. We have these conversations all the time because we live in such a neat place but it seems like if the opportunity arises for us to travel elsewhere we immediately jump on that. I loved reading your reasons and I’m convinced we should take a weekend or two to travel our own city like we would our traveling cities

This is great! People tour around the world to see it all, and it’s so easy to forget there’s more to your city than your commute to and from work. I hope more people explore locally 🙂

these are great tips! I love exploring our backyard, especially since Minnesota isn’t a well traveled place!

There is always so much to see in every city! I love following blogs from my city so that I can try out new things that I would not have known about otherwise!

This is such a perfect idea! I actually have traveled so much that I have neglected my own area! I need to check it all out!

Adventure Travel Blog

This is a fantastic idea especially for those in big cities or near tourist towns. But its also a great idea on how to prepare or test yourself for long term travel. If your city has a hostel check in for a weekend, or use couchsurfer for a weekend/week. Be better to know ur not ready in your backyard versus thousands of dollars n thousands of miles away were they dont even speak your language.

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