Want an awesome adventure? Look no further than your big backyard.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in thoughts of travelling the world, visiting new countries, trying new foods, being immersed in new cultures, and seeing the sights.
I hope that you keep dreaming, and planning adventures to far off places (and of course, reading my travel blog to help you do it), but I also hope that you appreciate and experience all the incredible things around you.
There’s more to living adventurously than trips across the world. Day trips to small towns, hikes on new trails, mornings at the market, and afternoons at local festivals – these are the kinds of adventures and experiences that you can have on a weekend, in between writing papers, or after a full day at work.
There are new experiences all around you!
Appreciate What’s Around You
A couple of months ago, I joined a travel community on Facebook. A post went up that said “What’s the number one country you want to visit?” I scrolled through the thread, which included every country you can think of.
There were people in India who dreamed of Canada, people in the United States pinning over Montenegro, and people from France set on getting to Australia.
Your home is someone else’s dream destination.
You live in an incredible place that other people are curious about, wherever you are. There are customs, traditions, and history that make it unique. There’s a landscape unlike any other, food that you can’t get anywhere else, and a local accent that someone from abroad thinks is hilarious.
It makes travelling the world all the more interesting when you’ve actually taken the time to learn more about your own country!
I’ve been sharing lots of photos from near where I live on Instagram lately.
Pretend You’re a Visitor
“It’s the perfect excuse to go!”
People visit you, or you visit them, and someone says this. Now that you have visitors, you can go and do interesting things. Of course, you couldn’t possibly have fun without company. It doesn’t really make sense, when you start to think about it.
A couple things are different when you have visitors. Firstly, you’ve cleared space in your busy life to go and have fun. Second, you’re set on ensuring your guests have a great experience.
What if you did both of these things for yourself, even when you didn’t have visitors?
The groceries, laundry, bills, and housework have to get done, of course. Once you’ve done all that, it’s tempting to flop out on the couch and turn on House of Cards. We all do it. I love Netflix too, but I realize that it’s not always adding quality experiences to my life.
Turn it off, get up, and go outside. Find out where the nearest conservation area, Provincial, or National Park is. Check when entry to the local museums is free. Pick something, and go. Clear space in your busy, hectic life for you to go and have fun, and create an interesting experience for yourself.
Balance Saving For Travel With Enjoying Your Life At Home
I’m sure that someone has already told you to cut back on miscellaneous expenses if you want to travel the world. Culprit number one, your expensive coffee habit. Culprit number two, anything fun.
There’s a difference between a $5.75/day latte habit and the occasional outing to an interesting, adorable new café. One is an (expensive) habit, and the other is an experience.
If there’s something interesting happening near you that you really want to do, go and have fun.
There are also a lot of ways to explore your surroundings for free.
- Watch for open houses. I’ve tried a few different types of dance by going to 45-60 minute free workshops on open house days. Pay attention to different studios that might let you try something different.
- Check out churches. Churches are becoming more and more multi-purpose, so even if you’re not a regular attendee you might find an event that interests you. I went to a performance by a children’s choir from Ghana last winter that was absolutely incredible.
- Find out when the museums are free. If you live in a major city with museums, odds are there is an evening each week with free entry during certain hours.
- Conservation areas, local, Provincial, and National Parks. This can be a little area specific, but there’s a good chance that you’re close to a beautiful outdoor space that you can explore for free.
- Local events. Town fairs, special theme nights, pop-up shops or markets. Find out what’s going on in your area, and go check it out.
Experience Cultures at Home
If you’re fortunate to live in one of the many countries around the world that is embracing and welcoming multiculturalism more and more each day, embrace it.
You can learn to salsa dance before you go to Latin America, and you can try homemade tomato sauce before you go to Italy, listen to bagpipes before you go to Scotland, and learn how silk is made before you go to China.
Sure, there are some things you absolutely have to travel to experience – but don’t let the idea of travelling, the Instagram induced wanderlust, or the next trip you have planned stop you from enjoying the fascinating and wonderful things that already surround you.