I think the reason humans enjoy travelling is because being in a place for a condensed, calculated amount of time forces you to be very active and present because there is an implication of urgency. You only have 10 days in Greece so you eat every meal out and try lots of new foods at new cafes and you consciously sonder. You are aware that everyone around you is a stranger and therefore vastly different than yourself.
The funny thing about even the most amazing trip is that upon returning we reflect, but quickly move on. So then we fall into this routine where every so often we crave another adventure far far away from everything we've become bored of, yet we allow ourselves to return to that bored state rather than maintaining that adventurous spirit at home.
No matter where you are...a small city or a big town, there are museums and cafes and people that are just as foreign. Take time to get to know them. Take time to go to places you've never been that are easily accessible to you. Take the time, no matter where you are in the world, to get to know yourself.
Here are my 10 simple tips for making home feel like an adventure:
1. Go to museums: a lot of people forget how much they appreciate art until they are confronted with it. Try to go to a museum and sketch your favorite painting.
2. Go see a foreign film!! Get a few girl friends together and bring snacks to accompany the film ((ie. French film...macarons and croissants)). Can't find a movie theatre near you screening anything good? No problem, go rent a film and watch it at home with a whole dinner made to match the location of the movie.
3. Use your phone less...often when traveling we don't use our phones since there are so many international data charges and time differences. When you’re thousands of miles away you’re not concerned about missing out, and not worrying about or comparing yourself to others for a while is part of what makes you feel refreshed when you return from a vacation...so allow yourself to take a trip from social media for a while!!
4. Tired of eating the same, boring food day after day? You don't have to!! Go try that new Thai place you've been meaning to go to!! Looking for a cheaper alternative to eating out? Look online ((check out some of my favorite recipes here: https://www.pinterest.com/anniemeitchik/e-a-t/)) for recipes that look good to you and invite friends over to try everything you cook up...or eat it all yourself - nobody's judging.
5. Go for a walk by yourself in an unfamiliar area. A tried and true method of finding yourself is in losing yourself. Getting lost in downtown Santa Barbara isn’t much different than being lost in Paris. Grab a notebook and pen and start walking around...if you happen to stumble upon a park, used bookstore, or candy shop write about it. Take notice of how you feel on your own. Try to view anything familiar as foreign and anything foreign as familiar. Imagine you speak a different language than the people around you. Essentially play pretend...the 7 year-old within you will appreciate it.
6. Get in your car and drive!! I keep a list of places to go within a 4 hour radius and whenever I have a free day I refer to that list and pick a place or two to check out. I rarely do any research which adds to the fun. I arrive in towns and cities I’ve never been and navigate my way to areas that seem promising...sometimes I luck out and find secret beaches off of roads marked “Dead End” and other times I circle around blocks of construction in Los Angeles - but regardless of the destination I have a great time adventuring. Get in your car this weekend and see what gems you discover - and make sure you have a solid road trip playlist to sing along to!!
7. Take stay-cations. It’s usually nice to return home after a long trip when you can appreciate all the things you love and missed about home. With time it gets harder to maintain that perspective and we take the pleasures of home for granted. Try spending a weekend at a friends house and act like tourists in your own town.
8. Do something you’ve never done before. With work, school, or other obligations it’s easy to get stuck in routine at home. Trying something new helps to break that monotony up and who knows you may discover a new passion. Look online to see what’s offered near you...maybe there’s a rock climbing gym you could try or a trampoline park - if not there’s always skydiving.
9. Go see a performer you’ve never heard of. The Beatles must have been undiscovered at some point right?! See who’s playing at your local club and get tickets. Whether the music is good or bad it’s sure to be an interesting night.
10. Tell other people that you want to go on more adventures. I thought for a long time that I was the only one up for spontaneous wander sessions...but once I started taking more road trips on my own and talking about them I discovered other people who longed for days spent in unfamiliar places too. Sharing your passion for adventure is such a positive thing to do...
If you don’t think your friends are up for the task that’s okay - part of what makes an adventure are the people you meet along the way.
So get out there and start living every day like you’re an explorer.
Travel at home.