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After six long months, constant travel finally burned me out. There may have been foreign towns that grew familiar and consecutive nights tucked into the same bed, but in general, where to next? grew old. I decided it was time to go home.
Based on the title, you know where this is going. As it turns out, the novelty of life at home lasts a hot minute. Hug your family, smother your dog, visit your old favorite spots, see some friends, and the feeling starts in again. Where to next?
I’m convinced life at home doesn’t have to be so dull. In fact, I’ve managed to discover lots of ways that home doesn’t have to be the same old thing at all. Boredom comes when we sense that we already know everything there is to know. And don’t we know that that’s not true at all? Are you looking for ways to reconnect with your hometown or have more fun when you can’t travel? Here are 7.
1. Get Outside
Getting outside is one of the best ways to replicate travel anywhere in the world. Maybe you’ll go hardcore adventure with a weeklong backpacking trip, or perhaps you’ll just fill a cooler with beer and float the river. To truly enjoy the nature around you, practice mindfulness and don’t take the details for granted. Even the most familiar places can feel new if you just look at them right. The little kick of endorphins won’t hurt either.
Love adventure travel? Check out more of our off the grid posts.
2. Make Some Friends
Perhaps one of the best parts of traveling is the weird and wonderful people you meet along the way. Can’t get away? Meet people that are different than you. Join an international Meetup in your city or start going to language exchanges. If you’re really into your home, offer tourists directions or consider freelancing as a tour guide. You may just find that this expands your entire worldview without having to go anywhere at all.
3. Party like you’re Elsewhere
I’m way into theme parties. Looking for something beyond a chips and beer backyard gathering? Host a theme party inspired by a destination. Do research on classic recipes and local drinks. Find some over-the-top decor and make your own playlist of regionally inspired music.
Hosting a German Backyard Party: Warsteiner invited us to host a German theme party, which I personally thought was an excellent sendoff to summer in Germany. I first tried Warsteiner in Berlin, but it’s available just about everywhere. They sent me their Warsteiner German Pilsener along with a Dunkel and shandy-style Grapefruit. I’m normally a craft beer loyalist when it comes to family gatherings, but any German will tell you the only proper beer is a German beer. Warsteiner has been brewed by the same German family since 1753, so it’s safe to say they’ve got the brewing technique down.
Planning a German theme party is easy enough. Fill a cooler with German beer. Pick up some snacks from a German bakery or international market – I used kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), aged gouda, and plenty of licorice. Track down a German playlist because there’s more to German music than 99 Luftballons. And you have yourself an easy theme party!
Want to try out Warsteiner? Find a store near you. This summer only, you can also sample the Warsteiner German Pilsener, Warsteiner Dunkel, and Warsteiner Grapefruit at one of 150 different Total Wine locations (Download the coupons: $1 off, $2 off).
4. Eat Away
Food is one of the easiest ways to initiate change in your day-to-day. Rather than defaulting to sad pasta dishes, try making new recipes inspired by past trips or ideal destinations. Shop the ingredients for authentic Japanese ramen or Argentinian empanadas. Dream up an appetizer platter inspired by Greek cuisine. Visit a Persian market and load your pantry with unfamiliar ingredients. And if your cooking is genuinely horrible, go out to eat at a hole-in-the-wall ethnic food restaurant in your city. Eating foreign foods can unlock entirely new flavor combinations and ultimately change the way you live.
5. Seek out Alternative Attractions
If you’ve spent most of your life in the same place, chances are, you’ve experienced the usual. You have favorite bars and bars you’d never go to. You’ve explored museums and monuments and walking streets one hundred times over. But have you considered approaching your city like you would a new city? Seek out the alternative and weird attractions you’ve never visited before. Rather than major landmarks, find the oldest deli, a new street art alley, or an offbeat museum. Get specific. It’s likely that the experiences you’ve been bucketing as tourist only might be pretty fun, or at the very least, entertaining.
Seeking ideas for weird things to do? Check out all things outlandish.
6. Learn Something New
When is the last time that you did something for the first time? When life becomes too routine, try taking a cooking lesson or gardening workshop to cultivate a new skill. Pick a dance class for a style of dance you find embarrassing or scary. Take on a language that is impossible to learn. By simply doing something for the first time, you can prove to yourself that nothing is out of reach.
7. Hit up Events + Festivals
Events and festivals are one of the best ways to have more fun at home. Seek out local events, street fairs, farmers markets, music festivals, film screenings, or whatever the hell else will help break up your routine. A little bit of alcohol and a whole lot of people intent on having fun is what travel is all about isn’t it?
Love festival travel? Check out these 21 weird + unique world festivals for 2017.
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