5 Reasons You Should Explore Your Own City or Town

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's hard to believe, but Taylor and I have been living in Charlotte for 9 months now! For a while, I thought I'd never get used to the busyness, horrendous traffic, and my stunning lack of friends. But thankfully, I've made some friends, I've adjusted to the busyness (but not so much the traffic), and the Charlotte Spring-time has captivated me. I'm finally settling in, getting used to it here, and maybe even starting to like it! *gasp*.

One thing I learned when I went to college, was that exploring "hidden gems" and looking for places I've never been before is a lot of fun. That's what I've been trying to do in Charlotte.

I'm also of the belief that no matter where a person lives- no matter how tiny the town, or how gigantic the city- there's always something new to explore and learn about where we live.
I'm trying to apply that to myself, and I definitely would like to see others apply it too! Here's why.



It allows you to find new favorites

I often decide something is my "favorite" pretty quickly. If I've had two or three (or maybe even one) good experiences somewhere, I tend to declare it as my favorite. But sometimes, there's better coffee, a better hamburger, a better park, or a better trail nearby, that you haven't even been to yet! You may end up finding a new favorite if you take the time to explore.

It eliminates boredom

On my days off, one of two things typically happens. I either feel super lazy and I spend my day watching Netflix and eating junk food, or I am extremely bored and cannot figure out what I want to do.
For days that I'm bored, deciding to explore my area is the perfect antidote.

The same is probably true for you too! Try making a list (or even a map if you are feeling creative) of all the places in your town or city that you'd like to go. Color code it by which side of town it's on. You could decide to try all the coffee shops in your area, or you could try to see everything on the Eastern side of town before moving on to the North (or whatever).

Boredom can be quickly eliminated by exploration!


You don't have to spend money

Exploring your city or town can be whatever you make it. You can choose to pack a picnic lunch and go to a park you've never been to, or you can choose to eat at the five-star restaurant that everyone's been raving about for years. You can go try a new coffee shop, or you can make your own coffee and find a nature trail to hike- either way, you should have coffee ;)
Regardless of what you are into, there's a good chance that you will be able to do something new and fun while spending little to no money. But if you want to spend money, you have that option too. Have at it!

Small Town or Big City- It Doesn't Matter
Living in a city makes it easier to find places to explore, because it feels like you'll never run out of new things to see. But just because you live in a small town doesn't mean you've seen it all.
When I lived in a small town (most of my life), I was constantly seeing things that I had apparently been driving past every day, but had never noticed. Even if you've lived in the same small town your entire life, it is likely that you still haven't explored every nook and cranny. No, I'm not proposing you take a field trip to that creepy auto parts store you pass on your way to work just for funsies, but I am proposing that you search for little shops, restaurants, and parks that you've never been too. I bet they are there, if you look really hard.

You Can Do It Alone- But You Don't Have To

Though it's important to use caution (and your brain) when going out on your own, exploring your town or city does not require that you have someone with you. You can make a day of exploring a new part of town all by your lonesome, and it's still fun!
But then if you decide you don't feel like being alone, exploring lends itself just as well to having your spouse, your friends - whoever- come along.

Exploring you city or town is something that you can do regardless of your age, regardless of your financial situation, and regardless of where you live. It takes very little effort, yet is still a bunch of fun! If you are finding yourself bored on your days off, I recommend exploring your own town. I'd be willing to bet you won't regret it!

32 comments

  1. i ADORE dating my city <3 my hubs and I do this from time to time. Its fun to view your city in the eyes of a tourist

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    1. Exactly! There's so many new adventures to be found!

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  2. I've just moved into a new city and I am counting down the days until it's warmer to explore outside and not just inside!!

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    1. Oh cool! Where did you move?! I hope you enjoy the adventure!

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  3. Awesome tips! When my husband, daughter and I moved to our current apartment we explored every part of our downtown core and it was so exciting! Trying all the restaurants, supporting local shops and enjoying the different galleries, festivals and trails. I love where we live now so much more!

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    1. That's awesome, Cole! I am so glad you did that and were able to settle in! Are you in a big city or a small town?

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  4. I love exploring our town, and the neighboring ones, with my toddlers. Plus, I am a huge advocated of supporting local businesses, so it's always a good excuse to try new places :)

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    1. I agree, Jessica! Good excuse and great way to kill two birds with one stone!

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  5. Great tips! Our town is starting to have more and more events but I still hear people talk about being bored, I don't get it.

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    1. I think people just like to complain. Unfortunately, some people aren't willing to get out and see the improvements.

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  6. This is cool! I always encourage everyone to get out and explore new places, even if their husband is deployed. In fact, I recently wrote a blog post about it! http://www.seasonedspouse.com/how-to-be-a-tourist-around-your-base-idea-49/

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    1. Cool! I guess great minds think a like! ;)

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  7. Not spending money is a great point! I don't live in a city but if i did, I would spend time exploring for sure!

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    1. Even if you live in a small town, there are still little hidden gems to find!

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  8. You know I haven't been around to much in my city that's a great point!

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    1. You should definitely try exploring more!

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  9. I am a big fan of exploring your own town first. There are usually many hidden treats that you pass by and ignore all the time

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  10. Love this post! It is always so fun to explore your own town and discover new things. That's one of the reasons I especially like having out-of-town guests... they force me to go out and see my city like a tourist! haha. But it really is something I should think of doing on my own too!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! I totally get it! When I was growing up, I never really explored, so when people said "what do you want to do", there were very few ideas because I always went to the same places. Now that I am exploring more, I am able to say, "let's go here today", or "Let's go there"!

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  11. This is so true - I've always loved the idea of finding the mystery and wonder in a place that feels so familiar!

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    1. Yes! I am really starting to appreciate that!

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  12. When my husband and I were newly married, we would find a town closeby (30 minutes) and treat it like our town for the whole afternoon. We'd walk around the downtown and eat at places around there. It was so much fun! Now we love when people come to visit us because we do more exploring in our own town. Agree with all of this love it! :)

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    1. That's an awesome idea, Autumn! I love stuff like that, but we are just now starting to do that. Right now, I end up exploring on my own because my husband is working almost full-time and going to school full-time. But when we get the chance to explore together, that's exciting too!

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  13. I like this! I usually never spend time in my own city so maybe I will find some charm if I explore it!

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    1. It really can be fun! You should try it!

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  14. Even though we've been here 9 months we're still working on learning about and exploring our new town/region!!!! <3

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    1. Where do you live again? Is it Oregon?

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  15. I'm so glad that you're starting to like Charlotte! You've probably been to more places than me and we've been here for almost 2 years! haha :) I'm so thankful that you're close though and we both call this city our home! Love you, friend!

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    1. Thank you, friend! I'm glad too! And I am so happy to have you as a friend. I love that you are a part of our life in Charlotte!

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  16. This week, the husband and I have been attending all the fun events in our town's yearly summer festival. Who knew we could have so much fun doing regular things like garden tours, free cheesy concerts in the park, etc? Love this post!

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    1. I know, right!? I'm so glad you are doing that! And I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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