If you’ve traveled for an extended period, moving back to your “home” city can feel a little…lackluster. It’s tricky to maintain the fun and spontaneity of travel when you’re consumed with living your everyday life. In light of this struggle, I’ve decided to embark on a few staycations. Now I know the term may not inspire daydreams of whimsy and adventure, but staycations have a lot going for them. I’ve found taking a vacation in my home city is a great way to keep my travel instincts sharp. I figure if I can push myself to seek out newness and fun within my city limits, there’s no limit to what I can do when I go to a foreign place.
Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your current city, I’d be willing to bet it has some cool things to do that you haven’t tried yet. These are just a few ways to get your staycation on and see where you’re living in a whole different light.
1. Try a new restaurant, in a “new” part of town.
I love to find new places to eat, but if Yelp tells me it’s more than 5 miles away it’s probably getting knocked down on the priority list. As much as I like to get around in other cities my real life revolves around a fairly limited geographic area. When you head outside of your area to dine chances are you’ll find something really good to eat, plus you get to take in a scene totally different from your usual haunts.
2. Check out the sights.
Many people, myself included, try to stay far away from touristy hot spots. But the thing is, they’re famous for a reason! I’ve always been so busy living in the places I call home, I rarely get time to actually see what other people say makes these cities shine. Bite the bullet and take that tour, go to that popular ice cream parlor, or take a picture by that famous statue. You just might enjoy yourself! Plus since you’ve lived in the city chances are you’ll have a more unique experience than a tourist who’s just passing through.
3. Treat yourself to a hotel stay.
I’ve actually never done this, but I know several people who have. In the true “vacation” spirit of your staycation, take a night off from the crib! Pamper yourself, order some room service…or at the least enjoy a really comfy bed with no clothes, toys, papers, or electronics keeping you company in it. When you wake up you’ll probably feel rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle real life again.
4. Try a different mode of transport.
Getting around in a new way can totally transform the way you see your city. If you’re usually behind the wheel of your car, try cruising on a bike or using public transportation. It really slows down your pace and lets you discover little nuances of your city that you probably weren’t hip to before. If walking or biking isn’t your thing, maybe participate in a car sharing program to get to some places you’re not usually able to go. You’ll get to see a fuller scope of your city, which will likely give you a better appreciation for it.
5. Get your photo on.
In my everyday life I end up taking pictures either of people or randomly cool/interesting things I stumble upon. I find that I really approach places differently when I go in with the intention of taking pictures. Try a photo scavenger hunt or look up a photo challenge for your city on the interwebs. Maybe you’ll stumble into a new part of town or maybe you’ll look at a familiar landmark from a new angle. Whatever the case may be, putting your photographer hat on just presents another way for you to see your city in a whole new light.
My staycations have really helped me develop a renewed love for my city and I look forward to taking more excursions. I definitely encourage you to find your own ways to fill up your own staycations! With a little thought outside the box, you’ll open yourself up to a very cool, refreshing and unique experience. Enjoy!
This story was curated by Njaimeh Njie.