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Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2017

Take the Time to Visit Your Backyard

There are many articles extolling travel, but what if you are short on cash? And why are we always told to visit the same picturesque places? What about traveling around your own country?

There are many real benefits to travel, but one of the most overlooked is that it teaches you more about your own country.

photo/ William Iven via Pixabay

So next time you’re planning a trip, skip the international plans and consider a visit to that small town an hour outside your home. Here’s why:

  1. It’s Cheap: Travel is good for your health – but international travel does come with a cost. Many of us may not be able to afford even the most basic of international trips, or we have more pressing uses for the money. Others of us are too constrained by family obligations to take significant time off. A short trip not far from home is not only much cheaper, but can also be quick.
  2. It Teaches You About Yourself:  Traveling around your own country keeps you in touch with the culture of your home. In an age when many countries are experiencing political discord, it can be an eye-opening experience to travel to a part of the country that is on the opposite end of the political spectrum from you. In some cases, this may mean traveling only an hour aware. Regardless of how far you travel, you can learn to see things through the eyes of someone else, even if you continue to disagree with them.
  3. You Can Easily Revisit the Place: It has been said that to really understand a place, you need to spend some time there. Revisiting a location gives you a chance to really get to know it – to make some friends, find the local hot spots, discover a favorite place to eat, and watch the changes that time brings.
  4. It Forces You to Meet People: Traveling to a less well-known place forces you to engage with other people and develop some true travel stories. When you are not surrounded by a mind-numbing variety of tourist hotspots, you can take your time in the places you do visit and speak with the people you come across. Local travel allows you to spend less time checking the boxes and spend more time just exploring.
  5. It May Make You Reconsider Life Decisions: When you travel around your own country, you may end up realizing that there are other parts of the country that are a better fit for your current goals and desires. Maybe you live in a big city and suddenly realize you want a quieter pace of life, or maybe you want to make the jump to a larger city for the excitement and opportunities. Or maybe it’s less extreme, maybe you are just looking to find the perfect place to retire, or to buy a time share or vacation home.

If you want to start exploring, here are a few recommendations:

  • Go visit a long-lost friend or relative in their town.
  • Use couchsurfing or Airbnb.
  • Reach out to local bloggers for advice on where to go. Maybe they’ll give you a tour.

Author: Dmitrii Zaitsev

photo/ Jo Wiggijo via pixabay

 

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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