Maintaining Curiosity

I haven’t written in a while for many reasons, mostly because my memory is foggy and my faith in your interest in my travels has weaned.

So I’m going to write about something a bit more relevant to me at the moment, while I’m in a travel-less state: how to sate your desire to travel while having to stay at home, for one reason or another.

Act Like a Tourist at home

“Tourist” is such a dirty word to so many travelers and travel writers. And while I may agree with them 99.9% of the time, when you’re in your own city, I don’t see it as a bad thing. Because what does a tourist do?

Research. They research places they’re interested in going to. Scoping out the popular destinations, be it cultural, gastronomical, or otherwise. Do the same with the city, town or region local to you. Opportunities will show up, I promise you that. Make a day of new things – going to that little cafe with great reviews on Yelp (which is called something else now I can’t bother to remember), adventuring with the off-beat art tour of the city and doing some shopping at the speciality tea shop owned by a cute old lady.

Now I’m not saying everyone lives in some picturesque Connecticut town where you can go antiquing to your hearts desire (that’s only in TV shows, folks, hate to say it) – yet taking some elbow grease and applying it to your own area will turn up some gems you find particularly interesting.

Budget. Every person traveling has a budget for most things and generally tries to stick to it. Do the same with your own ‘staycation’ plans. Know what’s possible within a range of budgets, from the cheap Chinese place down the street to the amazing steak restaurant with a 2 month waitlist, to the free museums within walking distance of their hotel.

Ask. They’ll ask people who have been to where they’re holidaying to what’s good, what’s bad, where they should definitely check out…you can do the same, with even better resources – because you know so many more people locally (or at least hopefully you do). It’s amazing the different answers you’ll get from people you know about what’s good or bad in your town if only you ask. You may find something you never knew was there and fall in love with it.

If you want to take it a step further, treat your staycation like a true staycation, and stay at a local hotel – this gives you the chance to ask the concierge for all the things you ever wanted to know – and probably some things you didn’t – about your local city. If you’re living in a smaller town which may not have a hotel that offers concierge services, try staying at a local bed and breakfast (or Airbnb) and asking your hosts what they would recommend in the area.

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