Brett’s post from earlier this week, “Everywhere is a destination,” struck a familiar note with me. I live in a popular tourist town, and while I love where I live, I’m guilty of often avoiding “touristy” things. When we’re not as open to our surroundings at home as we are when we travel, we can miss something unique about where we live.
Here are some tips for rediscovering your hometown:
Stop avoiding local events and festivals. If your town is known for a huge annual festival, say, a pumpkin festival—stop leaving town when that weekend rolls around. Take a chance with the traffic that you grumble about and just go. In addition, pick an event that you wouldn’t normally attend, like a giant pumpkin weigh-off, and check it out. You might discover that these events aren’t only for tourists, and learn something new about your hometown.
Check in with your town’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and see what you might be missing. Sign up for a regular e-mail bulletin of upcoming events and business openings to stay informed about what’s happening around you.
Browse through guidebooks about your city. Are you sure that you know everything about where you live? You may be familiar with the highlights, but changing your mindset and looking through a guidebook may allow you to discover something you’d like to add to your list of local haunts.
Open your eyes when you drive through town. We’re all victims of the daily get-things-done mindset from time to time (or all the time). Don’t wait until you’re on vacation to let go. Notice the small things about your surroundings. Take different routes, and find something new that you may have missed.
Allow serendipitous discovery. The next time you visit your Main Street, or any other district in your area, wander into a shop you’ve never visited. You may find out the store’s products are made locally by folks living around the corner from you.
Do you have any tried-and-true tips to add?