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How To Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

How long have you lived in your hometown for? A few years? A few decades?

Too long to remember?

Chances are, if that’s the case, things have started to get a bit… boring.

You go to the same shop every week to buy your food. You drive the same route to work. Order from the same takeaway every Friday night.

Routine is nice. It’s comfortable and cosy. But there’s no denying that after a while, it starts to feel a bit samey.

If you have been living somewhere for a really long time, you probably don’t think there’s any more you can get out of the area. You know the place like the back of your hand, right? You’ve done it all, seen all there is it has to offer.

Or have you?

You have three options when you start getting seriously bored with your hometown or city:

  • Choose to ignore the boredom and grow bitter (not recommended, as you’ll take your hatred out on everyone from your poor bus driver to the lady at the post office).
  • Move to another town (perhaps not the most convenient solution, especially if you work locally and have children attending local schools).
  • Discover the new things your hometown has to offer.

You’re probably squinting at number three right now, thinking, what new things? I’ve done everything there is to do here! I’ve seen everything there is to see!

Wrong. You’d be surprised at what might just be going on right around your corner that you had no idea about. Things aren’t always advertised unavoidably like they used to be. And when that’s the case, you have to know how – and where – to find them.

If you want to get some real enjoyment out of living in your hometown again, follow these 5 simple tips for how to be a tourist in your own town:

Search for local meetup groups

Do you have a secret (or not-so-secret) passion? A hobby you’ve been dying to take up? An interest that none of your friends share? Or do you just want to meet like-minded people for a coffee and a catch-up? The best way to feel like a fresh face in your hometown again is to join a local meetup group.

Sites like meetup.com are good ones to check out if you want to find the biggest diversity of local meetup groups. Chances are, you’ll find yourself mixing with a group of people that you’ve never mixed with before. You’ll feel like you’ve moved into an entirely new town, just because you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces for a change – and if you want, you can learn a new hobby or skill while you’re at it.

Look for discounts on things to do locally

What’s the easiest way to check out the whole scope of what your local area has to offer? By searching on discount sites and apps, of course. There are plenty to choose from, and they should all give a pretty extensive offering of a range of local activities that you might not have even knew existed, from dining and drinking options, to indoor and outdoor activities, specialised tours and independent stores.

The best bit about discount sites is that you’ll not only be able to find some cool things to do locally, but you’ll get them at a fraction of their original price. It’s a great option if you don’t necessarily want to blow your budget on doing local activities, but you still want to have fun close to home. There are always new activities opening up in your area, and discount apps and sites are a great way for you to keep track of them.

Drop a pin on a map

Here’s one for the more spontaneous of us: get out a map of your local town (physical is better in this case), close your eyes, and stick a pin somewhere within the area. The rule is that you have to then become an expert on the area. Research it, find out what there is to do there, and make a morning or an afternoon of visiting it.

The area you choose might have been a part of town that you’ve passed by hundreds of times before, but never stopped to explore. You won’t realise just how much of a difference it makes to look at a part of your town with a fresh perspective, seeing it for the potential opportunities it has in store.

Visit a top-rated area attraction

After a while of living in the same place, it’s natural that you’re going to develop some favourites. Favourite restaurants to eat out at, cafes to grab drinks at, shops to find deals in. But for now, pretend those don’t exist. Take a look on a few popular review websites – TripAdvisor is a good one – and see which places are ranking top. Then visit them.

Normally, if a restaurant or local activity has made it to the top ten in your hometown, it’s because it’s really doing something right. So, chances are, if you decide to visit a top-rated attraction, you’re not going to be disappointed. There’s no easier way to treat yourself to guaranteed fun while instilling a bit of home-town pride.

Take a tour

Pretty much everywhere in the world has some history. Even the smallest villages have hundreds of secrets lurking beneath their surface – and chances are, someone’s taking advantage of this by putting on regular tours.

Tours are a great way to learn more about your hometown and maybe even see it from a different perspective. You can usually choose between walking tours, which tend to feel more personal, and vehicle tours, if you live in a larger city. Don’t dismiss any as tourist traps – they really are an enjoyable way to gain a whole new insight on the place you live in. You can then go away and educate your friends with all your newfound knowledge.

5 Dating Activities To Help Keep The Spark Alive

Getting past the honeymoon phase of a relationship is a big deal.

You’ve gone beyond the stage of awkward handholding, misinterpretations and constant butterflies, and you’ve made it out on the other side, where you’ve been met with stability, comfort, certainty and, well, you’ll admit it… something that often feels like boredom.

Being in a secure, comfortable relationship is incredible, there’s no denying that. But how are you supposed to keep the spark alive now that things have settled down somewhat? You’re well and truly through with your dating days by now, after all.

But do you have to be?

There is no rule on the length of time a couple can date for before calling it a night and moving on to a life of nights in, dinner before the TV and 9pm bedtimes. In fact, dating should never stop if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. It’s the best way to connect with your partner emotionally and communicate with them beyond asking them to pass the remote. It’s a chance for you to learn something new, share interesting experiences, and reflect on your lives together.

In short, it’s pretty vital.

But what happens if you’re such a seasoned dater that you feel like you’ve done it all? When you’re bored of the romantic dinner out scenario and you’re so fed up enough with work “coffee catch-ups” that the thought of café hopping with your partner is a massive turn-off? Well, there are still plenty of options for you – and there’s no need to stay generic.

If you’re looking for original, boredom-free daring activities to help keep the spark alive, take a look at the 5 suggestions below:

Try a different cuisine

All couples have their favourite shared cuisine. It might be that Indian ranks at your top, or you both know you’ll never go wrong with Mexican. You find yourself visiting the same restaurants time and time again, just because you can’t get enough of their food.

That’s all very nice in theory, but why not try out something a little more exotic for a change? There are plenty of restaurants specialising in dishes you may not have ever heard of before, from countries you’ve never visited. Source them out and book a reservation at the one that sounds the most intriguing. Trying out a new cuisine with your partner is a great way to share an exciting few hours and grow together at the same time.

Attend a class

There’s no denying that having your own separate interests is the key to a healthy relationship – but when was the last time either of you tried something new? If you honestly can’t remember, it’s time to sign yourself up for a class.

No matter what your tastes, from cooking, to craft, and even more niche activities, there’s a class for everyone. Maybe try really going for it and choosing something you’ve never done before in your life. It’ll be fun to share the learning experience together, and you might just pick up on a new hobby for life.

Throw a picnic in your living room

What’s your usual nightly living room situation? PJs and home-cooked food in front of the TV? Maybe you need to introduce something one-off and fun into your routine.

Dating doesn’t always have go involve going out and spending copious amounts of money. Simply head to the shops, pick up a few picnic foods you’ve never tried before, and get yourself a hamper. Spread it out on the floor, and get talking. No TV allowed! This is a time to get to know your partner like you did when the two of you first got together. It’s a really simple and cost-effective way to keep that spark alive.

Get the adrenaline flowing

Fed up of that slight feeling or boredom you feel on your regular dates? Why not really mix things up a bit and do something to get the adrenaline flowing?

From rock climbing to water skiing, mountain biking to roller coaster riding, there are hundreds of options for all the adrenaline junkies out there. The more daunting the experience, the better, as it’ll pull you and your partner closer simply from the mutual fear you’ll feel – and the support and encouragement you can offer one another at the time. Not to mention the endorphin high you’ll get to share once you’ve conquered something really scary!

Double date

It’s understandable if you balk at the idea of spending your “intimate date nights” with another couple, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There’s something about going out as a bigger group of couples that can really improve your own personal connection with your partner.

If you don’t have any friends who are in a relationship, check out local meetup groups in the area. There are always people looking for the same experiences as you, and chances are, you’ll find a like-minded couple to catch up with from time to time. We’re not saying every date should be a double date, but it’s a great way to mix things up every now and then!

March Collective Lifestyle Design

The March Collective designs a collection of wall art curated to stay abreast of the latest colour and design directions.

Our design philosophy is the collective view that the beauty of any interior space should be complemented, enriched and transformed by the perfect piece of art.

We believe beautiful art should not be limited to a few but appreciated by all. For this reason, The March Collective creates wall art printed on canvas with a number of framing options, to suit any interior space and budget.

The March Collective is the collaboration of design duo Brooke Marsh and Anoushka Schollay, two friends sharing not only a background in Graphic Design and Advertising, but an appreciation of art and exceptional design, and an obsession with beautiful interior styling.