Travel is therapeutic. But is it possible that you have been seeking therapy far and beyond while ignoring the backyard—your city? We have compiled a list of compelling reasons why it is important to explore your city. Take a look!
1. You Will See Your City in a Different Light
You probably have an idea of your city in your mind. For instance, maybe you think it’s a lifeless city with nothing much going on. Maybe you are wrong. But how will you find out if you don’t purpose to explore it? If you don’t know where to begin, you can ask your co-workers or friends what their favorite spot in the city is. You may be surprised at the answers you get. You can consider writing all the recommendations somewhere—lest you forget.
You can also think of yourself as a complete tourist—like a stranger looking in. Get on the internet and see popular attractions in your city. This site can help you uncover new spots in your city. Thinking like a tourist helps you look at things a little deeper than you normally would. You can start with something as simple as trying a form of transportation you’ve never tried before.
2. You Will Learn About Your City’s Heritage
One thing that gives a city its character and a sense of community is its history and heritage. Maybe your city has a nickname. Do you know where it came from? Or do you know the history of some old buildings you drive by daily? Or you might wonder how the city started and grew into what it is today.
Hitting the road is the best thing to do to quench your curiosity. For instance, you can visit the local history center or museum for historical exhibits. Most local parks also have plaques that describe what used to exist where they stand today. You can also go to the library and strike up a conversation with one of the librarians. Besides giving you information, they can also give you access to informational materials that are not out on display. Other options include visiting local cemeteries, attending local events, and taking tours like historical walking tours.
3. You Will Meet New People
It is easy to get stuck up in a work-home-local store loop. But exploring your city is a great way to break that cycle. Meeting new people expands your echo bubble by hearing different perspectives about everything. Who knows? You might start seeing things differently or learn something new.
Going out there to meet new people is also a great way to hone your communication skills. You can transfer these skills to your personal and professional settings. Most importantly, the new people you meet in your city can expose you to new opportunities.
4. You Get to Travel While Saving Money
Saving money is always the winner when justifying local travel. You know how quickly travel expenses can accumulate—flight tickets, a rental car, accommodation, and everything in between. But you don’t need any of those to explore your city. You can even take a bus back home from the other side of the city. And you can bring packed lunch. Although you will spend money on things like entrance fees and local transport, it cannot compare to traveling to a new city or country.
5. You Can be Spontaneous
Big trips usually require a lot of planning and saving. But that’s not the case with exploring your city. You don’t need to wait until you get time off work or plan about where to leave your pet and other constraints. Since you are traveling shorter distances, you will still have time to attend to your normal duties. Therefore, you can be as spontaneous as you wish. Additionally, your friends who live close by can tag along since you don’t have to wait for weeks or months for your schedules to align perfectly.
In the same breath, you get to see your city every season. It’s like splitting one long trip into small micro-adventures. So, you can spread them out across different seasons depending on when you get the chance.
6. It is Low Stress
Let’s admit it—while traveling to an unfamiliar place is awesome, it’s not all roses. Planning can be hectic. Perhaps they use a different currency or the transport system there is so complex. Or the people speak a different language.
But when it comes to exploring your city, you already know how everything works. Plus, there is no culture shock. So you get the adventure and refreshment without the stress of exploring unfamiliar territories.
7.You Hone Your Travel Skills
Traveling is as much a skill as playing the guitar. You get better with time and practice. Even your favorite travel blogger was once an amateur. So, if traveling is a hobby you would like to nurture, exploring your city is an excellent way to start. You will learn skills like flexibility and communication. You will also kill your fear of unknown places if you struggle with that. You will also start having a touristy eye—discovering more and more spots on the go.
8. You will Become a Local Expert
We mentioned earlier that exploring your city makes you understand its history and heritage. But you learn so much more than its past—you become an expert in matters of your city. You know which restaurants serve which cuisines, which spots are family-friendly and which ones are not, and everything else there is to learn about a city. You can even share your findings with others—through a review blog or a page on social media. Other travelers can refer to it when they want to explore your city.
9. You are Helping the Environment
Did you know that traveling locally reduces your carbon footprint? Although you might decide to drive across the city, you can’t compare that to flying across the world or taking an overnight train to another country. So that’s a win for the environment. Besides, you help grow the local economy by spending money on local businesses. All these small things add up.
The Importance of Exploring Your City: Final Thoughts
It would be unfair to finish this article without acknowledging the sense of connectedness you get from exploring your city. Whether you grew up there or just moved after landing a new job, it’s where you call home—at least for now. Exploring your city will make you feel more at home than ever before. Moreover, you will create memories of a lifetime. Start exploring your city and enjoy all the benefits discussed above.