At the end of December, I said that my resolution for the year was to treat each and every day as if I were traveling, to fully experience and immerse myself in life. Again in January, keeping my resolution in mind, I dubbed 2012 as The Year of Endless Possibilities, and I stated that, “I will take last minute opportunities and chances to try new things, whether I’m at home or abroad.” While I was serious about the abroad adventures, I have not always been as open to exploring the area I live in.
However, with a little help from a new friend, this past month has truly been one of endless possibilities, and I have really been able to live my life as I usually do while traveling. I have also started to realize that life at home can be just as fun as life abroad, it just may take a little more effort. Throughout the month, my eyes have been opened; I didn’t realize how much I’ve been missing out on.
Here’s how my horizons have been broadened in January, and how you can do the same.
Try Something New
One way to explore the area you live in is to try something new. It can be to try a new activity, a new restaurant, or you can go to a place you’ve never been to before. We all get stuck in the same routine, so it’s good to break away from that.
For me, it was trying a new cuisine. I love to eat, but tend to get into a pattern, usually sticking with Greek, Italian, Chinese, or Thai. There are plenty of cuisines out there, and many ethnic restaurants are popping up all over the place. From Scandinavian to Pakistani or Nepali to Argentinian, the options are endless, especially if you live near a city.
The best part about trying a new cuisine is that in many ways it feels like traveling because it is a way to experience a new country through their food. Recently, I went for Ethopian and it was amazing. The feel of the restaurant, and the food served, made me feel as if I were transported miles away from home.
With Websites like Living Social and Groupon, it’s easy to find opportunities to try something new. Sign up for an art class, try master a language, take a yoga class: you’re never to old to learn.
This month I went for tango lessons, and I haven’t had that much fun in a long time. I’d like to dance tango in Buenos Aires one day, and this was the perfect way to get me excited for those future plans. While I may not have mastered the art of dancing the tango, I learned a lot about the history of the dance and had lots of laughs in the meantime. I also have a lot of respect for those who dance tango because it looks a lot easier than it is.
Attend an Event
Going to a concert, opera, craft fair, or car show is relatively easy, as long as you make the time to go. These events allow you to break away from your responsibilities to spend time doing something you enjoy. Look up an event on-line or in your local paper, and then make the time to go.
Just last week, I went to go see The Wanted in concert at Irving Plaza. I haven’t been to a concert in a long time, and even though they were playing on a Sunday night, I am so glad I just went because I had a great time dancing and singing along. Then, just this weekend, I went to a kirtan done by Krishna Das. I have always enjoyed listening to Krishna Das’ chants, especially while flying or if I’m stressed, and the opportunity to see him live was incredible. From the set up of the room to the Sanskirt chants, I was instantly brought to another place.
While exploring the area I live in has been different from traveling in many ways: no culture shock, no heading to the airport, no lost luggage, no language barriers. It also seems to have many of the benefits of travel, especially because I have learned so much about myself. It has also brought much meaning and inspiration to my life, and I have been happier than I usually am at home. I also have been more focused on living life in the present, rather than just dreaming of the future travels I have ahead of me. All and all, it’s been quite an extraordinary experience, one that I feel was missing from my life.
Getting out there and enjoying life is what we do while traveling, but we can make it an integral part of our life at home too. It doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money, but just breaking free from routine can make life a whole lot more enjoyable. If you still have a few days, weeks, or months until you are off traveling again, check out what you can do locally. You may just discover something that’s been missing all along.