Many people believe that traveling and exploring requires lots of planning but what if I told you there were many adventures just around the corner? Even if its only an hour from your city, you will surely find a variety of unique locations and businesses. I remember being a teenager and exploring all our tiny town’s downtown shopping strips. Some had only 5 stores, some had 50 but regardless there were always hidden treasures to be found. Here are some of my favorite reasons to play tourist in your own city.
Support Local Businesses
One of the best parts of exploring a local downtown area are the shops. Many downtowns are full of small business from tiny nooks to large book stores. What’s even better is that when you make a purchase you are giving back to the community by supporting that small business. It takes a lot of money and time to create that storefront so every dollar helps.
Discover New People
Have you ever stopped to chat with the small fruit stands on the side of the road? Maybe there’s a story there that would fascinate you while helping them out with a purchase. There are so many different walks of life out there you are bound to run into someone who has an extraordinary story to share. I personally met tons of people in Hawaii this way. Someone playing the ukulele would be singing their heart out and I would stop to chat.
You Don’t Have to Spend Money
Running low on cash and don’t have the extra funds to spend. No worries! Many small towns have some sort of attraction you can visit for free. For instance, when I visited downtown Poulsbo this summer, there was a free museum and aquarium. You don’t have to spend money to let your kids run wild through a new park or have a picnic on a nice green lawn. Also, many areas have farmer’s markets on the weekend where you can just peruse the tents of goodies.
Finding Your City
Even today as an adult, I am in love with my city’s downtown area. I did not like Arizona when I first moved here. As it slowly started to grow on me I started looking for an area to fall in love with. I lived in North Phoenix, Central Phoenix, Avondale, Chandler, Ahwahtukee, and lastly I ended up in Gilbert. Now you can’t pull me away from this city because I am so happy here. I think finding a city to fall in love with is the door to falling in love with a place you may have initially disliked.
Regardless of where you live, you are bound to find something new when you go exploring and play tourist in your own city. If you ever find yourself bored and wanting to explore, try visiting a new location close by that you’ve never been to. You’ll be surprised at what you may experience.