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 favoritesI 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 boredomOn 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 moneyExploring 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 ToThough 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!