Take the Time to Discover Your Local Area

When I hear people talking about their expensive vacations, I am often impressed. It must be amazing to spend time on a luxury cruise, or visiting a remote location. But I often note that the same people often know remarkably little about their local area.

What do I conclude when I find that this is the case? It seems to me that it’s easy to become focused on the need to spend a lot of money travelling around the world. We know that travel is said to broaden the mind and we expect that taking expensive trips will bring us rewards.

Local Tour

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/4676501257/

Looking closer to home

It’s ironic, however, that we may spend hours flying to a destination that offers similar experiences to those that are found closer to home. You may well find that tourists actually visit places close to your own home, but do you ever act like a tourist when you visit the local area?

With many families looking to save money on vacations these days, spending time within your own country or region could be a really good solution. The immediate reaction is often to think that such an option would be too boring, but this probably ignores what is on offer.

This first occurred to me when I was living in a town within the UK. Tourists would come to my town, having travelled from France, Italy, Spain, the United States, Japan and many other countries. They would be impressed by the medieval cathedral, by the sense of history and by the links to many famous figures.

I lived in that town for many years, but I rarely took the opportunity to visit the same buildings and museums that attracted the tourists. I was too busy working, looking after my family and living my life. This is a trap that many of us fall into. When we see beautiful things every day, we are strangely unable to notice them.

Acting like a tourist

One day, I realised that the local attractions were passing me by. I decided to spend a week touring the region and acting like a tourist. I didn’t have a massive amount of money available to me, so I concentrated on finding local campsites. I moved around a fair but and got to see many villages and areas of the countryside that I’d previously missed.

I also took the time to visit local Tourist Information offices. I thought that I already knew plenty about the places close to where I lived. I soon discovered, however, that I was wrong.

The whole experience was thoroughly uplifting and has caused me to think again about local places of interest. As a family, we now spend many more weekends enjoying local attractions and sites.

There’s certainly a time and place in life for expensive vacations. Make sure that you avoid the mistake, however, of ignoring all that your own region has to offer.

Keith Barrett writes about budget travel options. He uses blueskycamping.co.uk and other retailers to buy suitable travel and camping accessories.

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