When I don't have any travel plans coming up, one of my favorite things to do is to spend a whole weekend treating my hometown like a travel destination. There's something about jam-packing all my favorite local things to do into a weekend -- or even better: doing all the things I've always meant to do in my hometown, but haven't done yet. I whole-heartedly believe that travel is a state of mind and I love keeping open eyes to take in the familiar. Plus, I know when I travel, I want to squeeze in as many things as possible so that I can experience a FULL day in that city or country. I believe you can do that at home, too. It's about spending your time intentionally and reminding yourself what there is to love about where you already live. I'll be starting to do more of these "hometown travel" series more often, so stay tuned!
Here are some ideas to get you inspired to explore your own hometown:
Try Something Local You've Haven't Gotten Around to Yet
Doesn't it seem like no matter how long you've lived in a place, there's always a few things you haven't gotten around to exploring? A museum, a historical building, that one park you've meant bike through, etc. In Chico, there are always seasonal events that last for short periods, so it's extra incentive to go pick peaches in an orchard or enjoy that Summer foodie event that's only one weekend every year. I always find I still have plenty of things to explore locally!
Try a new restaurant/coffee shop
It's not that the place has to be brand new to your city, it can just be new to you. It's super common to be creatures of habit and eat at the same handful of places. But, by getting out of your routine you might just find your new favorite spot! It's extra fun to throw a new cuisine into the mix you've never tried before too. I've explored some delicious Filipino and Jamaican food recently, which my adventurous pallet was pretty happy about.
Go to a Local Event
Get tickets to that Brewfest or new event happening that's a little outside your comfort zone! I love going to new events because it's usually pretty fun to be around people with similar interests and it can be nice to shake up your routine. Keeping an eye out for local events can also be a super great way to find organizations you want to get involved with or a new hobby you might want to start.
Explore the surrounding cities
Depending on where you live, you don't always need to take a day trip to leave your hometown. I've mentioned this before, but I love Northern California because there are SO many surrounding towns and cities to explore. I can make a short drive to find a forest, a new coffee shop, or a totally different downtown to explore. I'm also just an hour and a half away from the California capitol, Sacramento, which always has something fun to do or some great restaurant to try. Either way, you'd be surprised to see what small surrounding cities to where you life have to offer!
Do all your favorite things in one day
I love doing this because it really reminds me what I love about where I live. That's why I believe travel is a mindset you can keep with you at all times; to me it means keeping a fresh perspective and excitement where ever you are -- even home! While I probably won't live in Chico forever, I think this mindset is worth taking with me wherever I call home.
Do you ever try to spend you weekends treating your hometown like a travel destination?