How To Travel Local

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking forward to your next vacation, whether it be a weekend getaway or a trip abroad. While I do enjoy planning my travels, I also don’t want to be constantly thinking about the future rather than living in the moment. Here are my tips for how you can see your current town and its surrounding area through new eyes.

Find What’s Free

A google search of, “Free things to do in…” goes a long way. Maybe it’s time to check out that free geology museum or the hiking trail you’ve passed by. If your area has a free weekly, like Madison’s Isthmus, it’s likely a great resource for finding listings of local events.

A Free Garden Tucked Away on the UW Madison Campus
A Free Garden Tucked Away on the UW Madison Campus

Use Atlas Obscura

This website gives you the lowdown on all the quirky, random things to do in your city or destination of choice. They’re adding content regularly. In fact, I just looked and there is now a listing in my current town of Madison, WI about a plaque memorializing a time in which Elvis broke up a street fight using karate. Check out Atlas Obscura and you may find a few gems nearby that you didn’t know existed.

Me at the Mustard Museum
Me at the local mustard museum

Be Curious

Sometimes I find that I get more excited about things simply because I’m in a new place. For example, I could spend hours in a museum in Europe but rarely go to museums nearby. How much do you know about your area’s history or local art? Take time to be curious and learn more.

Art Installation at Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art
Art Installation at Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art

Be Mindful and Give Yourself “Vacation Time”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and what you “should” be doing rather than enjoying the moment. One remedy is to give yourself several hours of “vacation time” on the weekends. Use this time to do activities that you normally don’t make time for. Any time a thought comes up about what you could or “should” be doing, remind yourself that you’re on vacation and refocus on the present moment.

Taking “Vacation Time” to find all the Bucky Badger statues!
Taking “Vacation Time” to find all the Bucky Badger statues!

Have an Eye for Photography

Sometimes being primed to take photos allows me to find a different view of familiar places. It also reminds me of the beauty that I sometimes take for granted. Some of my favorite photo opportunities in my home city are colorful sunsets and reflections in bodies of water.

Just Another Day at Vilas Park
Just Another Day at Vilas Park

Tours & Day Trips

Research what kind of free or affordable tours your area offers. Is there a nearby capitol building you could tour? What about a ghost tour? Also use a search engine or Pinterest to find day or weekend trips in your area that you might not have thought about. Feeling extra adventurous? Throw a dart at a map of your state or region and go on an adventure to wherever it lands.

Day Trip to Cave of the Mounds
Day Trip to Cave of the Mounds

Have you tried any of these tips? Post in the comments below! Want to save this post or share it with others? Pin this image:

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