If your feet are itching to explore the world but you can’t do it right now, there are still a bunch of things you can do in your hometown and feel like exploring new people, places, and horizons. Here are a few ideas what to do in your city this week:
#1 Walk to work
If you usually go to work by crowded public transportation or by car, choose a nice sunny day and go to work on foot.
How to do it: When not in a hurry, people usually walk at a speed of 5 kph (3 mph). If you live 6 km (3 mi) from your workplace – it will take you about 70 minutes. Get up earlier than usual. Plan time for a coffee or a breakfast break on the way (you can prepare breakfast at home and eat it in a nice park). Choose your route so that you pass through as many parks and quiet streets as possible – thus walking to work will be a genuinely refreshing and recharging experience.
#2 Go to a live performance of a new, unfamiliar band
You might like them, even though you haven’t heard of them before, and it will liven up your evening.
#3 Check into a hotel in your own town
Check into a boutique hotel, an Airbnb, a winery or a spa hotel in your own town. Pick a special weekend to recharge your batteries not by traveling long distances but by choosing to leave all worries aside – from what you will have for dinner to wondering whether to change the sheets or not…
#4 Visit a temple of a religion, other than yours (if you’re an atheist – pick one of the many)
When you’re on a holiday abroad, you visit mosques, Buddhist temples, synagogues…, but you don’t do it in your own country. Have you ever thought of that? Pick a temple of a religion different from your own and learn something about its history. It could be a church, mosque, synagogue, a temple of an ancient civilization…
#5 Get on the public transport and get off at the last stop
Pick a bus/tram/subway line whose route you don’t know well. Discover new neighborhoods, interesting places or people. Take at least half an hour to explore before you leave.
#6 Get up really early and practice your favorite sport outside before work
Too few people will be thrilled when they read a challenge starting with “get up really early”. The truth is, exactly this kind of early rising will make you feel so refreshed that you will certainly want to do it again sometimes. If you think that coffee is refreshing, try at least once mountain biking early in the morning on a weekday, only to see how fresh and full of energy you can feel at work, even if you got up at 5:30 am.
A couple of ideas (tested): In winter, when the fresh snow falls during the night, take the skis or snowboard and go up the nearest slope to enjoy the snow powder with a slide down. Tell your boss that, due to personal reasons, you will be late to work by an hour or two. In summer, cycle in the mountains. If you prefer more relaxed activities, go to a beautiful place outside of town and do yoga, or try gokotta.
#7 Have dinner in an exotic restaurant (Indian, Thai, Peruvian, etc.)
It’s a culinary trip in itself, with no passport needed.
Read more: 18 travel challenges for nature lovers
#8 Go far away from the city at night to gaze at the stars
City lights prevent you from seeing the sky in all its splendor. Go a few miles out of town and you will see so many more constellations. Take a blanket to lie on the ground comfortably.
How to make it more interesting: Download a constellation identifying app (like Sky Map, for example). Find Mars, Venus, Saturn, the Zodiac constellations.
#9 Put a message in a bottle
This rather romantic gesture isn’t very eco-friendly, not to mention that too many rivers unfortunately carry so many bottles that it’s unlikely anyone will open yours and read the message inside. That’s why, instead of throwing one more bottle in a river or sea, leave the message at a more strategic place – in the park, in the foyer of a public building, etc. Tell your story or pay forward the most positive lesson life has taught you. It’s surprising how therapeutic this can be both for you and the person who will read your message.
#10 Go to the rooftop of a building and see the city from above
When in a foreign place, tourists are ready to pay significant amounts of money to go up the Empire State Building or other observation decks upon skyscrapers. They don’t do it in their own town, though, where the pleasure is most probably free. Even if there are no skyscrapers around, find a tall building where a friend of yours works or lives, go to its rooftop and have a lemonade while enjoying the view.
#11 Go where you’ve been numerous times before
…and don’t leave until you find out at least five new things/stories/people.
It’s very possible this challenge will be among the last ones you will complete. Probably because we suggest you go where you think you know everything. The idea of the challenge is to show you that you might miss a lot by thinking you know everything.
How to do it: The easiest way is to imagine that you’re going there for the first time. Look for the details, talk to people, ask questions you know the answers to (often, the answers you get are unexpected).
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