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.