You can travel without leaving your own city

To many people, they don’t feel as though they have traveled anywhere if they don’t leave their city / province / country. In the broader sense of traveling, I get that and it makes sense.

A vacation to a far off place is a type of travel, but it isn’t the only kind. With international travel limited, let’s look at how you can travel safely at home by being a tourist in your hometown.

Travel is defined as:

To go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey.

Dictionary.com

When we look at the broad definition of the word, a simple hour-long car ride entails traveling. It is still possible to travel right now, just not in the ways we might be used to. It’s time to start thinking like a tourist where you live.

I am a HUGE proponent of local adventures. I am sure that there are lots of them lurking around the corner from your front door. If we can’t travel far away right now, we can certainly explore our own backyards.

Woman hiking Dog Mountain trail on Mt. Seymour
As a result of staying local, I have discovered new hikes like this one, Dog Mountain hike at Mount Seymour.

Local travel requires a mindset shift. You must think like a tourist. Become a tourist in your own hometown. Not sure what to do because you live there? Easy! Make a list of some of the things you like to see and do when you have visitors.

What are the attractions that people from out-of-town like to see? What is your city known for? Almost every place on earth has something interesting about it, you just need to get creative and think outside the box.

It can be tough to come up with new ideas if you’ve been living in the same place for a while. Here are some ideas of how to find activities if you’re struggling to find things to do.

How to be a tourist in your hometown

  1. Google your city and the word attractions
  2. Visit TripAdvisor and research your local area
  3. Ride the bus/metro and get off at a random stop and walk around
  4. Dine at a new restaurant in an area you don’t frequent
  5. Look up parks nearby and go for a stroll
  6. Visit your local museum or art gallery

Some of these attractions may be currently closed. If they are, start making a list for when they re-open. One thing is for sure, nature doesn’t close. The more outside activities you can find, the better. Local parks, lakes, trails etc. are a great way to get fresh air and exercise while exploring a new area.

Totem Poles in Stanley Park
The Totem Poles are one of the main attractions at Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and they are available to be enjoyed year-round

The best way to be a tourist in your own city is to think like one. I bet you do things differently when you’re abroad versus at home. For me, at home, I have a vehicle so I drive most places. Whereas when I travel, I tend to take public transit.

When I was living in Paris, I would often get off at random metro stops to wander new neighbourhoods and see what hidden treasures I could find. I bet you’ve never done that where you live, have you? No judgement here, neither have I. At least not yet, but maybe that’ll be a future blog post ;)

Water Taxi in False Creek, Vancouver
My absolute favourite way to play tourist in Vancouver is taking the water taxi instead of a taxi or Uber

I have been traveling around Vancouver as a tourist. I’m really enjoying it. That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to my next tropical vacation somewhere hot and sunny. I most definitely am! But in the meantime, you’ll find me galivanting around Vancouver.

Yellow umbrellas art installation in Yaletown
I found these yellow umbrellas while strolling around my neighbourhood. They were put up as a sign of hope and were meant to bring a bright, uplifting message.

I hope I have expanded your definition of travel to include not only tropical vacations and international destinations, but also local adventures where you live. If you want more ideas, you might enjoy my post on 5 ways to make a staycation an amazing vacation.

What do you think about this definition of travel? Are you open to thinking like a tourist in your hometown and exploring more of where you live? I know for me, it has been an absolute lifesaver during the past year to get out and still feel like I’m traveling.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Have you been exploring where you live? I want to hear about it!

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