“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Summer can be a great time to get away, and seeing your friends post pictures from their various trips around the country and even globe can ignite a sense of wanderlust. However, travel can be expensive, and it can be difficult to schedule a substantial amount of time off from work. If you feel like you need a break, try taking a mini, day-long vacation, or “day-cation,” instead. Follow these tips to find new and exciting things to do in your own hometown!
Break out of your routine
Oftentimes, people become bored not because there’s nothing to do, but because they do the same things all the time. To get ideas for your day-cation, try leaving for work 10 minutes early, then taking a new route to get there. Take note of the parks, shops, and people you pass on the way.
If you buy your lunch from the same place every day, try a new place, or even save some money by packing a lunch and then sitting in the sun and people-watching while you eat it. These little ways of freshening up your daily routine could inspire you and give you a better idea of what you might like to do on your day off!
Ask people what they like to do
You don’t have to approach a random stranger and ask what he or she does on the weekends to figure out what other people in your area are doing. Make conversation with your coworkers, your hairdresser, your librarian or anyone else who lives in the area and spends a lot of time interacting with the people there.
Listen to what they say they did with their weekend. If something catches your attention, ask them more about it, or look it up online later. Finding out someone did something other than stay in and watch Netflix might give you some ideas to get out and enjoy your town.
Look your city or town up on Instagram
While many have bemoaned the Instagram update that no longer allows users to create their own locations, you can use that mandatory geo-tagging for your own benefit. Try plugging your town or city into the search bar on Instagram; you can search for your area via hashtag as well. See first–hand what fun things other people are doing in your area, and let yourself be inspired. Make sure to add your selfie to the mix at the end of your day!
Check your local and online bulletin boards
It’s a common movie trope: The protagonist is performing an otherwise menial task in a public space when he or she is suddenly enraptured by an advertisement on a local bulletin board. Well, the next time you are bagging groceries or checking out a library book, stop and take a second to peruse the crowded cork board for events. Things like craft fairs, drive-in movies and even free concerts can be advertised on spaces like that.
If you’d rather use an online source, websites like meetup.com can have a great collection of events. There are tons of different categories to choose from to suit whatever you’d like to do!
Stroll through a farmer’s market
Farmer’s markets are great, not only because supporting them means supporting local business and food sources, but also because they provide a friendly and meaningful way to shop. Going with friends, buying fresh ingredients, and then making a meal together can be a great way to spend a day-cation without spending the money on eating out at a restaurant.
If the impersonality of the grocery store is grating on you, find some fresh perspective at the farmer’s market. Farmers will most likely be enthusiastic about answering questions about their products, which are not limited to just fruits and vegetables. Many farmer’s markets sell breads, artisanal cheeses, meats, and even jewelry and crafts. Some vendors may even offer tours of their facilities, which will give you another day-cation to do at a later date!
A quick day-cation can be a great way to feel like you’re getting away without the expenses of long-distance travel. Whether you live in the smallest town or the biggest city, there are always new things going on that you might not have even thought about. Go forth, seek new activities and don’t be afraid to be a tourist in your hometown. Happy exploring!
Originally published on July 28, 2017.