Don't Wait, Explore Your Hometown
Not so long ago The Old Man made his quarterly trip to India for work. He was there for about 14 days which meant he ended up spending one full weekend there alone. Normally when he travels alone he stays in his hotel and works (hides), but I usually yell at him to go explore wherever he is (safely), so this trip he was proactive to impress me decided to explore a bit of Mumbai while he was there.
The Old Man was conflicted on what exactly to do, so he sent me a ton of links and kept asking for my advice. I tried to offer some, but to be fair I was a bit jealous of all the cool ideas he was sending so I told him to choose for himself. Finally he told me that he was going to the Global Vipassana Pagoda with a co-worker who suggested he go with him to show him around and it would be cheaper than hiring a tour guide. The Old Man always the one to want the history pointed out that without a tour guide you miss out on all the history, apparently the co-workers solution was that they could Google anything they wanted to know while there. Oh engineers!
While not the avid photographer of life that I am The Old Man did a pretty good job sending me some pictures and even had his co-worker take some of him so he could prove he was really there and not just stealing pictures from the internet.
After he returned to his hotel to forward me more pictures of monkeys and have an adult beverage he told me was glad he had gone because he had fun and that the coworker he went with had not been to the Pagoda even though he has lived in Mumbai his entire life. That got me thinking (well after multiple “you can’t have a monkey” text), that we have a tendency to ignore our hometowns as places to explore.
Oh sure we may on occasion that someone comes and visits, but what if they don’t, or those who visit only want to do certain things, think northerners going to the beach in Florida in December. I know I was guilty of this when we lived in Tampa. We never got out and about and explored. Tampa has some great state parks, great places to kayak and SUP, but did I ever do any of those things. NOPE! We do seem to do better in Boston than when we were in Tampa and for that matter in Dallas (for that brief few months).
The thing is no matter where you live there is at least one thing you never do because you live there and you think you will get around to it some other weekend. Make a list of those things and go and do them! Make plans to enlist your friends, make a day of it or maybe even a weekend and go explore your town. Heck if you are at all creative and an organizer you can plan a scavenger hunt around your home town to explore some of these things.
Certain interactive games like Pokemon and Harry Potter help you to get out and about and in most cases the places you need to visit to level up or get points are landmarks you pass every day and never take the time to stop and read. Video games not your speed in most cases a quick trip to the library or even the internet you can find books about your town and all the things you can do in some cases on a tank of gas. And last but not least you can just Google: “Top 10 things to do in……………” and you find things to do.
Vacations are expensive and in some cases just not in the cards, but exploring your hometown or even the next town or city over will only cost you a tank of gas and little imagination. Who knows what you might learn or what wonderful places you might find. Worst case is you spent a Saturday or Sunday out of the house, away from work, chores, and Netflix, and had you own little adventure. Can’t give up a whole day exploring? Then stop and read those plaques they put up on historical sites all over town. Learn something and have a bit of hometown trivia to share with family and friends at the next backyard BBQ.
All photo credit goes to the Old Man!!!!