ad·ven·ture 
/ ad’ven(t)SHər,əd’ven(t)SHər /   n

daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm.
(“she traveled the world in search of adventure”)
Synonyms: excitement, exciting experience, thrill, stimulation…

For many people, adventure is that one time they went skydiving, a summer road trip with friends, or their year studying abroad. 

For others, adventure is a state of mind—a way of living.

When you look at the world and each day as an adventure, even the seemingly smallest of events can create excitement and long-lasting memories.

So don’t get down while all your friends are off on exotic vacations this summer and you’re trying to figure out how to get the most out of your staycation while you stick to your budget. Follow these simple tips to play tourist in your own town, and experience adventure at home.

Adventure is a mindset

If you find yourself thinking, “There’s nothing so great about my town,” or “I already know what my city has to offer,” try putting a spin on your thoughts. Ask yourself, “What haven’t I explored here?” or “What new thing might I be able to learn/experience if I keep my mind open?”

To change your experience you need to change your mindset. To change your mindset, change your self-talk.

Be open to what presents itself

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to meet and connect with people while you’re on vacation? 

In our day-to-day lives, we’re often running from one appointment to the next, or dashing through our errands so we can get home with our loved ones. We don’t have time to stop and smell the roses or idly chit chat with a stranger.

When we’re on vacation, we’re more relaxed. When someone stops to ask us the time or directions, a simple question may turn into a pleasant conversation. The days evolve more slowly and more naturally.

When you play tourist in your own town, try approaching the experience as if you were truly experiencing it for the first time. Stop to take things in and look for small moments to appreciate. Really try to connect with people around you. When you’re not rushing to get to the next place, you might find moments or connections that would ordinarily pass you by. If something grabs your attention, allow yourself to divert from your plan to explore.

You may be pleasantly surprised by the new things you find or the new friends you make along the way.

Adopt a new persona

Just because you’re in a familiar environment, doesn’t mean things need to be business as usual. Have some fun with it and create a new persona for yourself. Roleplay your favorite TV character for the day, or invent someone totally new. 

Why not? Sometimes it’s just fun and adventurous to mix things up a bit. Take a little inspiration from our friends April and Andy.

Take a city tour

Contact your local visitor’s bureau and ask them for recommendations for an out-of-town guest. Or Google “walking tour” + your town name. Or visit a local art or history museum. There is always something you can learn on these excursions—a piece of history or a quirky fact about your town that you didn’t know. 

On top of that, you are going to meet travelers from out of town on these types of tours who are in ‘vacay mode’ and ready to explore. When you put your new persona on and surround yourself with these vacation-minded travelers, you will have a chance to meet new and interesting people and see your city with fresh eyes.

Treat Yo’ Self

Vacation is all about getting rejuvenated and refreshed. You don’t have to be on a white-sand beach to give yourself a well-deserved indulgence. Treat yo’ self to something that fills your soul. Visit a local spa, get a massage, make reservations at your favorite bougie restaurant. Just because vacation is local, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a bit!

Off the beaten path

If a tour is totally not up your alley, make your own itinerary of off-the-beaten-path sites. 

Write a list of any places you’ve wanted to see locally or any activities you’ve always wanted to do, and start doing them. If you’re looking for ideas, do a Google search of your town name with words like “hidden gems” or “off the beaten path” to find new places to explore. 

Whether you stick to “traditional” tourist activities or decide to forge your own path, next time you find yourself with a long weekend, try exploring your own town. When you play tourist in your own town with an ‘adventure’ state of mind, you just might make memories for a lifetime.

How to Play Tourist in Your Own Town the Right Way

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