Have you ever tried to be a tourist in your own town?
Sometimes we forget all of the amazing places we have right under our noses. We focus on the next trip instead of looking for the gems in our own town.
Before moving to Oregon, I wasn’t a huge traveler. I used to travel to different countries during the summer, explore the touristic places of my country, but never seeking the hidden gems. The reality change in Oregon. We traveled every weekend we could, always exploring new places.
When I asked my local friends about the places I’ve seen in Oregon they would tell me that they haven’t got to see them. The exact same thing that I would say before. I decided that no matter where I’ll live I’ll always explore the places around me. You can never know what will happen tomorrow and if you’ll get to visit them in the future.
I decided to write this post telling about my experience in order to show the amazing benefits you can get near by. Maybe, next time you’ll try to figure out what to do with your day, you won’t look far, and acknowledge the beauty in your area.
Being a Tourist in your Own Town- Portland
I live in 15 mins from the city. Close enough to visit a few times a week. This day started fairly normal. My friend and I decided to check out one of the city’s street festivals in Hawthorne street. The first thing we saw when we got there was Axe Throwing which is one of my bucket list items. It was free and of course, we stood in line and waited to try this out. I got to say that it’s completely different than you’ll expect. It took us a few throws to understand how hard and far we need to throw in order to hit the wooden wall (but eventually we made it!) and it was really fun.
We continued to explore the festival. The street was full of crafts, local artists, food, and different experiences. We tried all the free samples, listened to the local live music, and explored the local art.
For food, it was the first time I tried one of Portland’s food carts. For those who didn’t know, Portland has more than 500 food carts at any given time. It considers one of the best street food cities in the US and a whole attraction by itself. We went to Cartopia, a food cart pod where we ordered Pizza and Mediterranean food. The food was great, and the place was so beautiful. After lunch, we went back to the festival and discover an aerial studio. They opened it to everyone and it was the first time I tried the trapeze! (another item from my bucket list).
From there we tried to look for more attractions in the area. We saw that one of the parks is having a silent headphone party (The third attraction from my bucket list in one day). We decided to check it out (got a free pass because we only had a credit card and they only had cash) and my friend convinces me to wear one of the costumes they offered. It’s definitely an experience you can only have in Portland.
By the end of the day, I tried 4 new things, marked 3 bucket list items, and got to explore the local beauty of the place I live.
Why am I telling you this?
Because we can have a memorable day without trying too hard. We don’t have to fly or drive a few hours to check items from our bucket list, or simply have a memorable day.
I chose to give only one example, but simply by going to my city, I had so many incredible memories. Exploring the street arts, Powell’s city of books, and the downtown are only the tip of the iceberg (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read my article of 10 Best Attractions in Portland Oregon).
Benefits and Ways to do it
- Get to know more people from your area- great experiences usually involves connecting with similar people. Start a conversation on the beach, in a Cafe or park.
- Learn about your city culture- there’re a few ways to do it. You can visit the city’s museums, try different group tour, and even show a friend around. I love the last way. You can enjoy a quality time with your friend, create memorable memories and get to know your town. I did it a few times and it always fun and improve your relationship.
- Create incredible memories without wasting a lot of money on flights, gas, and hotels- the day from my experience only cost $10 for food. If you have a budget, want to travel for cheap, looking for something to do without a lot of planning, being a tourist in your own town is perfect.
More ways include:
- Go to a different restaurants or café- try new places and cuisines
- Go to your town’s viewpoints
- Attend the local festivals
- Try the app- meetup- they’re having so many social meeting and tours. Find something that interest you and join!
Don’t say that your city is boring! Being a tourist in your own town may sound like a slogan but it works. There’s SO much to do if you’ll look. Go out! Especially with the travel restrictions, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your area.