Nowadays, the word “tourist” can have negative connotations. Most travel guides and blogs will make a strong distinction between being a “tourist” and being a “traveler.” However, with our crazy hectic schedules, more people are finding it harder than ever to relax. Taking the time to explore your own city as a tourist is an easy to way to unwind while reminding yourself why you love it so much.
Sometimes the best way to explore a place is to do so as an outsider. If you’ve lived somewhere for a while, odds are you’ve become largely immune to much of the sights and attractions. You walk past the same museum on your way to work every morning so you don’t even really see it anymore, or you only visit the same handful of restaurants around town. Shifting your focus from being a local to being a tourist can be an exciting way to reconnect with your city.
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Get a Hotel Room
If you have the budget, consider booking a short stay in a local hotel or bed-and-breakfast. It can be half the fun! Waking up in a new place is exciting, and it will help you fully immerse yourself in the tourist experience. Book a stay in a part of town you aren’t familiar with, like a hip, downtown area or a rural suburb away from home.
Make a List
Odds are you have passed a lot of interesting places vowing to go there “one day.” Well, that day could be today! Make a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to visit but never had the time. Visit the busy bakery downtown you’ve heard about from a friend or visit the new museum you couldn’t find anyone to go to with. It’s completely okay to do things on your own and put yourself outside of your comfort zone!
Take a Tour
You might not feel like you’d learn anything from a tour of your own town, but you’d be wrong. Tours are a great way to brush up on your local history and even learn more about the place you spend so much of your time. Consider booking a unique tour to see your city through a different perspective such as a double decker tour or a boat tour if your city lies on a river for instance.
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Do your research to find out the top destinations in your town for visitors. You might be surprised to find you haven’t seen any on the top list! A great place to check for recommendations is travel blogs and public review websites like TripAdvisor. Read other challengers’ recommendations and give them a try! You might find your new favorite pizza place or your new favorite attraction!
Bring a Camera
Take the time to really see your city. Bringing a camera is a great way to force yourself to take in all of the sights. Take pictures of yourself in front of all your favorite local landmarks to get in the mindset of a tourist. Think about what you’ve seen other tourists take pictures of in the past and try to garner the same excitement in your own local adventures.
Touring Your Hometown
It is easy to feel disconnected from your current town or hometown. After all, you see it every day so odds are it won’t seem as appealing as a travel destination. Exploring your city as a tourist is an inexpensive way to remember what you love most about your town, and you might even discover new things along the way! A little planning will go a long way in getting you out of your comfort zone.