Local travel. Microadventures. Backyard blogging.
Whatever you choose to call it, local travel is all about making the most of what’s waiting right outside your door. It’s about embracing the attitude that each day is an adventure waiting to happen. It’s about turning the tables, and making the most of the 5-to-9, instead of focusing solely on the 9-to-5.
When we travel, to other countries and other continents, we have our eyes wide open and our senses attuned to everything – the sights, the sounds, the smells – and I believe it’s a good idea to apply that approach to daily life too.
This is where local travel comes in.
Being unable to cross borders or board a plane doesn’t mean you can’t have an enriching travel experience; a day trip can be enough to refresh your perspective and recharge your batteries. You can book a long weekend away in the nearest town, or brave a night camping in the countryside. You can indulge in a ‘staycation’ in the hotel down the street, or simply explore a new neighbourhood.
Not only does applying the traveller’s mindset to everyday life give you more opportunities for adventures, but it’s much cheaper and easier than jetting off to another country. When all you have to do is hop in your car or jump on the subway, an inexpensive weekend is enough to reinvigorate the mind before heading back into the office on Monday morning.
While I can’t deny that foreign travel stirs the soul, I have to admit that some of my favourite adventures have happened close to home: an afternoon in Ness with my Mum; sailing to St Kilda with my Dad; a solo drive to the beautiful Bostadh beach.
Here in New York, the city that never sleeps, I’ve taken my ‘local travel’ mantra to heart, exploring as many of the boroughs and nearby towns as possible. It’s why the tag line on this blog talks of “inspiring you to see the world, at home and abroad” – the inclusion of the word “home” is a very deliberate one.
In just one recent autumn weekend, my husband and I went boating in Central Park; took the subway to the predominantly Chinese neighbourhood of Flushing in Queens (it felt like jumping on a plane back to Tianjin, where we first met); and enjoyed a hour or so of hiking in the fresh air by the Hudson River. Filling two days with completely new experiences was exciting. It created that thrill of the unknown that’s usually only associated with foreign travel, and I loved it.
Ultimately, local travel is all about appreciating the little things in life.
A spectacular sunrise, a charming street, a walk in the woods. Sometimes, the best adventures are closer to home than we might imagine.