THE BLOG

Adopting a Traveler's Mindset in Your Own City

21/04/2015 11:53 BST | Updated 20/06/2015 10:59 BST

One of the best things about travel is that it can make life seem exciting. A journey into a new culture can help us to leave the daily repetition behind as we arrive at a place to discover with bright, childlike senses. This newness brings about bewilderment and creativity as the senses come alive. It combats the mental lethargy we so often live in. It is really a shame that we simply may not be able to afford to travel as time commitments and money can keep us from doing so. My suggestion therefore, is to learn to adopt a traveler's mindset in your own city.

Most of us get so swept up into our daily routines that we blindly walk past people and places day after day without really experiencing any of it. We eat the same foods and spend time with the same people. That said, what if tomorrow you took an alternate route to work? The change of scenery, even if ever so slight, can recharge the creative brain. Instead of going to a major coffee chain, try getting your caffeine fix from a boutique coffee shop instead and talk to the people who work there. Try a new restaurant and order something unique. Sign up for a fitness class that you have never before experienced. Venture into a small storefront and talk with those working there. Shop for your groceries somewhere other than your usual market. Sign up for classes to learn a new language. There are many seemingly small things that you could do different today that would provide you with a new experience and a fresh perspective.

When I lived in Chicago, my friends and I came up with an idea based off of the popular Thai saying, "same, same but different". We chose to apply these words towards trying new restaurants in new neighborhoods. Every other week (or so) one of us would be in charge of finding an ethnic restaurant in a neighborhood that we had never been to before. It was great fun as we discovered and learned together. We tasted new things, saw new sights, heard a variety of languages, and met new people. It felt as though we traveled the world all while staying in Chicago as we visited various immigrant areas of the city. Perhaps you live in a smaller town and you don't have a vast variety of cultures to choose from. In that case, what about getting on your computer and searching out a new recipe from a country you have never been to? You could also watch a documentary or video about that country as you eat some of their food that you made. Taste, see, and smell a bit of their culture from the comfort of your own home.

It is a good thing to keep a childlike wonder about this world. Life can get mundane and when it does, go out and try something new. Take a bit of time, that time you would take if you were on vacation, to see your surroundings in a new light. Travel a bit in whatever way you can and from wherever you stand.

2015-04-20-1429557905-5490222-image004.jpg

Buying fresh juice from a neighborhood market