5 Best Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
All of us need a break every now and then. But not all of us can afford to go on expensive vacations when we get one. For this reason, it becomes very important for us to put on a new pair of sunglasses.
What I mean by this is a new perspective. A fresh way of looking at things that we’ve always found present around us. And then thinking about them from different angles. Simple. Try it and you’d be surprised at what you discover. You’d be amazed, in particular, by the variety of meanings a single object, emotion or memory can hold.
New Ways of Looking at Things
Take the soap case sitting on your bathroom sink, for example. It’s a pretty regular piece of washroom essentials, right? Meant to keep your go-to bacteria-killing (and smell-eradicating) equipment in place.
But what if I told you that the soap-case can also be thought of as a metaphor. As a vessel meant to carry what is clean.
The ‘clean’ could include both living and non-living things. A certain type of human beings, for example.
Does the biblical story of Noah’s Ark ring a bell? Simply by shifting focus on one of the soap case’s different aspects, a whole new reality has been attached to it. And this is exactly what some of the best writers and poets do. They take the ordinary and using their creativity, turn it into the extraordinary.
And this makes us appreciate our lives, and the world around us, a whole lot more.
On the internet, many people maintain elaborate blogs to record the results of such re-visiting activities. I am also guilty of keeping online journals of this sort, using my Spectrum cable connection.
Once we learn how to think like this, we can apply our new lenses to almost about everything.
Hometown tourism, for instance.
Becoming a Hometown Tourist
No one can confidently say that they know everything there is to know about their hometown.
I once used to imagine that I did – when I didn’t know much about the world, and people. And how things can change.
Now I think of everyone that I meet in terms of a story waiting to be told. As being more than what meets the eye. And as certainly more than what I’ve been told by others.
In this blog post, I’ll list the five ways in which you can experience your hometown anew. And who knows…you may not want to leave your town’s borders ever again! Because it contains so many hidden things that need investigating.
1. Become a Town History Buff
Are you aware of how your town came into being? About the tales of conquests and losses that led to its current state. And whether your own ancestors played an important role in this process.
Most people - let’s face it - don’t know much about these things. Which I think is a big shame!
People only want quick (social media newsfeed-type) nuggets of info to process. They don’t usually have the stamina for reading long sentences with difficult words. And certainly not any dusty, old history volumes from the library.
Although I highly recommend the mental exercise that such lengthy reading requires. But if you’re not up for this, then I’d suggest having a nice, long chat with one of your town’s historians. Every locality has one, and this individual is usually an elder. And he/she does not necessarily need to have a serious college degree. Just about anyone who’s been around for some time, and has a knack for knowing things, will do.
Spend some time investigating the history of a local coffee shop, or café. A good place to start your adventure would be the local town government offices.
2. Explore Those Dark Back Alleys
Contrary to what most people think, street back alleys are not only the places where businesses throw their trash. These twisted locations also often experience some interesting drama unfolding within them.
And since tourism also includes seeking new experiences, I think these out-of-the-way spots also count.
On one occasion, I personally witnessed a mafia-like brawl taking place in a back alley between drug addicts. Each accused the other of stealing cocaine from a dealer, who I was shocked to learn was the town constable. In a Nancy Dew like move, I recorded the entire exchange on my mobile phone. This video recording later led to many arrests and the public sacking of the said official.
As I look back on the matter today, I don’t think I would have come across such excitement on any foreign trip.
3. Get to Know the Townsfolk
Many people shy away from engaging with strangers personally. But I don’t.
In fact, I like playing ‘the psychologist’ role from time to time. It not only increases my knowledge and awareness about life, it helps me to understand my own mind.
We are all, after all, the reflections of each other. Or so goes a popular saying…
I often say that if every person were to truthfully share his/her life-story, each would become a bestselling author. Because when you come to know it, the truth really is stranger than fiction.
Listening to people talk about their hopes, dreams, struggles, joys, and heartbreaks is fun! Even when they can make you cry.
It is time well spent – by any measure.
4. Leave ‘I was Here’ Reminders in Key Places
Many of us, when we’re on a vacation, tend to scribble notes on stones, benches, and trees. We do this because we want to let others know that we were here. That we lived and existed. And that we mattered.
But these emotional reassurances, for the most part, are for ourselves. They have a holiday feel to them, which comes up even when many years have passed.
As a hometown tourist, stroll around to your favorite local destinations. These can be eateries, pubs, parks, museums, or even street benches.
And when you’re there, simply take a knife or a pen, and do some scribbling.
Just be sure not to get caught vandalizing public property by the police. Because then you’ll really have something memorable to talk about!
5. Spend a Day Out Eating – with a single $100 bill
Go out food shopping on a budget. A single $100 bill can do. And what’s more, this amount is enough to get those holiday vibes going.
Lick a scoopful of local gourmet ice-cream, or slurp on a choice cocktail like it’s your first drink.
And I guarantee that you’ll still have enough change left to spend on some delicious street food.
This money-restriction is important. Otherwise, your trip downtown will have nothing different to offer.
And the words ‘boring’ and ‘tourism’ should never come alongside each other.
Neither in your memory or your speech.
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