I grew up in the city, and as a city girl, I often find myself tired out with the concrete buildings and paved roads of my home.
However, I’ve also found something out: the city doesn’t just hustle and bustle, it changes every single day! And I can actually find new things in old places, as well as old treasures in new places. Let me share with you five ways by which you can rediscover your city, have some fun, and not grow tired of where you live in.
1. Try LOCAL Coffee Shops or Tea Salons
One thing about big cities is that they’ll always have a Starbucks around every corner. I’m not saying that you should ditch the big name companies altogether. You should, however, try the smaller coffee shops: they’re cozier, they’ll have coffees that you might not find in the big cafes, and they might even have local treats that you won’t find in a Starbucks!
I used to live in the Midwestern U.S., and we had a café that served gelato made on site. It also featured baked goods from college students who wanted to earn a living. I loved that café because I got to try new treats every week, and because I got to observe the college students who walked in and out of the place.
2. Sit in the Park and People-Watch
Speaking of people-watching, don’t underestimate the power of the city outdoors! Parks are a great place for you to make new friends, people-watch, and simply relax.
Not all cities have open spaces, but when they do, you’ll find that people flock to these open spaces. You’ll discover the kinds of dogs that people own, how people interact with each other in the city, and what time of the day you can expect the ice cream cart to come by.
No, this is not about stalking! It’s about simply taking a breather from work to join the rest of the world as it takes its own breather from life.
3. Take a Short Course at Your Local Community College or Learning Center
Whoever said that you can’t have some fun while learning a new craft? A lot of people are finding out that they need to get away from it all by exploring their own strengths. One way is to take a short course at a local community college or learning center.
Depending on where you live, you can take courses such as pastry baking, Italian cuisine, zumba, dancing, yoga, or writing. A short course won’t tie you to an educational institution the way that a college or university course might, but it will help you learn new things and make new friends. Your new friends could even help you rediscover new places in your city!
4. Ride a Complete Route of Public Transportation
One day, when I was really bored in my city, I decided to complete an entire bus route from its beginning to its end. It took me all of four hours, and all I did was stare out the window and look at the buildings.
While some people might think of this as a waste of time, it actually helped me find out new things: I knew where a certain mall was, I found a place where I could sell my old clothes, and I discovered a wide variety of street musicians who played the gamut of styles and genres.
You don’t need to spend 4 hours on a bus, or 2 hours on a train, but whatever you do, take a complete route and watch out for shops, stores, and landmarks that you might never have seen before.
5. Visit an Antiques Store
Some cities have pawnshops, others have antiques stores, while still others simply have good citizens who like collecting the city’s treasures. Every city has a history, so take time to discover it – not through a lecture in a classroom, but through its antiques.
You don’t need to buy anything. Simply look at the old furniture, or the vintage clothes, or the ancient LP records. These treasures will tell you about what people value enough to keep.
Some cities are safer than others, so don’t take risks by going to deserted or dark areas, visiting places at night, or talking to strangers. A bit of common sense will take you a long way in your exploration.
Have fun, keep safe, and rediscover your city! You’ll find a lot of hidden stories that you can discover and share.
Author Bio: Inez Ponce de Leon is a writer, science communicator, scientist, and belly dancer. She loves beaches, books, movies, and way too many things – hence, she writes way too much, too. She loves taking on a wide variety of topics, from how to critically look at Internet health claims such as Healthy Trim Reviews, how vitamins can be supplements for brain health, and how racism is being fought in Philippine football (http://inez.abcruz.com).