Being a Tourist in Your Own City
By: Karishma Kapur
For some people, staying in the same city for a while can be exhausting. It's the same crowd, same colleagues, same bars/clubs, and same restaurants over and over again. You may think to yourself how you need a vacation, but can't formally plan one anytime soon since you have this wedding to go to or that concert to attend or you might just be out of your budget right now etc. Sometimes we forget how big these cities are! and how small of a bubble we actually make them! It's easy and comfortable to get used to the same routine so instead of doing the same thing every weekend, try being a tourist in your own city!
This may sound a bit odd, how does one become a tourist in their own city? Don't we want to avoid crowded places? After repeat weekends, it's good to have a change of pace once in a while and understand the perspective of why others think your city is so cool! This will help you have a newfound appreciation for your own hometown that you may be tired of by now and provide some color in your weekends. It's fun to remind yourself why you decided to live here in the first place.
Here's a couple of tips on how to start the process:
Plan and dedicate 1-2 full days to explore the city! Even though you're spending time at home, this "trip" is going to be different. However, in order to really explore the benefits of it, you need to make sure you have an open mindset as if you were traveling somewhere else. Dedicating 1-2 full days to explore the city with things you haven't done before will make it more legitimate to think of this time as a vacation rather than hanging around in your home. If you need ideas of what to do in the city since you think you’ve done it all, I highly recommend TripAdvisor or TimeOut.
Book, book, book! The first thing most of us do while traveling to other countries is book historic tours or make sure we see landmarks. Since we're re-exploring this city, make sure to book things you've never been to. You might've heard about the plaza everyone goes to but never actually have been there yourself or this cool museum that's a little too far from your home so you haven't made time for it yet. Groupon is also a great way to check out deals on tickets or packages. You can see the city through new lenses by booking new tours such as boat tours, famous foot tours, food tours, etc. There may be a lot of people in there, but appreciate what's in front of you. This is the perfect opportunities to learn something new about your city and cross those items out so plan ahead!
Pro Tip: Larger museums often change or rotate their exhibits so even if you’ve been there before, there can be new and interesting content!
Bike or walk in a path that you haven't been to yet - One of the best ways to explore a city is to bike through it! Many large cities offer bike passes and will provide beautiful trails with attractions and gems you might not have seen before. Take a new approach and instead of ubering everywhere; bike along the river you've never seen before.
Bring a camera - Sometimes we forget why we moved here in the first place. At first, we visited the main tourist attractions and we don't want to go back because there are so many people. However, try bringing a camera and searching for the beauty of it all. People visit cities all the time to see the historical landmarks or the new attractions. Visit them and record the way it makes you feel! Who knows, you could be recording for the next Humans of America?
Taste new things - Don't go back to the same pizza restaurant or the bar you're at with your friends every weekend. Go to the opposite side of town, pay for that expensive drink (treat yo self) and enjoy the boujee view. Maybe try one of the more famous restaurants that you've always wondered about but haven't gotten around to yet.
Stretch your horizons in the small hometown and have fun with it! Bring a couple of friends, enjoy with family or even do this solo - you could be surprised by how much fun you have. Everyone needs a change once in a while.