I live a little piece of the world called Yorkshire in the north of England. It’s cold 80% of the year, it suffers from the UK’s very real north-south wealth divide and people here are stereotypically pretty stubborn.
Yet Yorkshire is actually a really wonderful place to live. From the rolling Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors to the rugged beauty of the eastern coastline and the historic city of York – in six years of living here I’ve discovered that Yorkshire isn’t called ‘God’s Own Country’ for nothing.
So this post is a little bit different. It’s about a type of alternative travel that doesn’t involve jetting out of the country on the latest Ryanair sale (I mean who can really pass up £10 flights). But instead about being a tourist in the place you live.
Because we can so often get caught up in our everyday lives, we can forget to stop and look around us once in a while. We forget that the cities and areas we spend so much of our lives in have so much more to offer us if only we could see them through new eyes.
So here are my top four reasons why I think more people should be tourists in the place they live more often.
Less travelling, more exploring
An obvious one but a good one nevertheless. Let’s face it, no one really likes the long journey part of travelling. So visiting somewhere close by means less time getting there, and more time actually exploring. There’s no planes, trains, queues, or waiting lounges to hurdle over, plus all of your home comforts are waiting for you when you get back at the end of the day.
Become a local expert
Exploring the city or area you live in gives you the great opportunity to learn more about its heritage too. Whether it’s the old building you walk past on the way to work or the park you go to on a weekend – each will have its own story to uncover. And the more you learn about the history of a place, the more your everyday experiences will become enriched too. Don’t forget, all this knowledge can be put to great use when you have friends and family come to stay – you’ll be a local expert!
Refresh your mind (often)
If you only have a weekend or even just an afternoon to spare – being a tourist in your own area is a great way to feel like you’re taking a break from it all, when you don’t have the actual time to. It’s true, you may not get the same feeling of escapism as you would lying on a beach in Bali, but the idea of exploring somewhere new, even if it’s just a half an hour drive from your house, still allows you to get away from your everyday routine, refresh your mind and relax (plus you can do it more often than Bali anyway).
Appreciate where you live more
Whether it be new found appreciation or simply just remembering from once upon a time, exploring the places of interest, beautiful landscapes and other renowned touristy things your local area has to offer, you’ll start to love where you live more too – isn’t that what anyone wants after all.
Do you like being a tourist in the place you live? Let me know in the comments!