Life is full of surprises. Just when you think you know enough, a new mystery opens up. And it is these little things, which continue to make the world an interesting place to live, isn’t it?
On that note, what do you think about your hometown? It is the place closest to us: some of us may be born and brought up there, others might have spent large parts of their lives there, while some others might be even currently residing there with their families. And because it is where our home is or where we have a lot of friends or where we have made a lot of memories, we believe that we know everything about it. But do we?
Well, open up your mind and look at your city with a new set of eyes. You will realize that there is so much about it that you still don’t know. How to get a new set of eyes for yourselves? Well, there’s no need to buy new spectacles; all you need to do is explore your city like you are a first-time tourist there! Here’s how:
Explore Your City on Foot
Start by taking a stroll around your city. Go deep into the interiors; sometimes the most precious jewels are hidden behind the most pompous façades. Taking a walk across your city will help you reach places, which may be impossible to get to if you are traveling by, say a car. No matter what you discover or how small it may be, it’s little story will definitely add more to the entire spirit of your hometown or the way you have known it.
Start from the Beginning
Every city has a history; pay a visit to the place from where it all began for your hometown. And go there with a sense of belonging to the place, which won’t be difficult considering it’s your hometown. That sense of belonging will change the way you look at it. It will give you an entirely new perspective to look at your city’s history, and eventually at your own roots. No matter how many times you visit a particular place, a different perspective every time will bring it to you in a different light.
Meet the Elders
Like every other place on earth, your city will also have its own elders; all those people who have been there, done that! There will be some knowledgeable people in your hometown who have grown with the city, who have seen the city throughout its rise and prosperity. Go meet them and listen to their stories; they will have a lot to tell. These people will literally turn out to be encyclopaedias of your city’s oral histories, something you don’t want to ignore if you want to look at your hometown from a fresh perspective.
Recreate Your Childhood Memories
Do you have any special place in your hometown, which you frequently visited with your parents or grandparents as a child? Go to that place again. Only this time, you be the elder and take another kid with you. Do not tell the kid anything; just see this place the way she sees it. You’ll be surprised at how fathomless the human mind can be; at the infinite possibilities it delves on. You may soon come to realise that there might be so much more to the place than you’d ever thought.
Socialize with Strangers
That sounds weird, doesn’t it? I mean talking to and hanging out with random people you’ve never met before? But believe me when I say that some of these might turn out to be the most fruitful conversations of your short tour. You never know who might just end up giving you the most valuable bit of information about your hometown you never even knew existed. So, go visit random but popular restaurants, coffee shops, parks, shopping malls, and other public places where you can meet new people, and hear their side of the story.
Visit an Old Eatery
Food tells you a lot about a place and its people. Every city has its old, classic eatery that still serves some of the traditional dishes the city might be famous for. Find it out and stop by for a little snack or even for an elaborate lunch for that matter. Traditional recipes have a tendency of falling to the ravages of time, perhaps because very few people are aware of them. So while you have the chance, go ahead and grab a bite.
Go to a Local Event
Find out what new is happening in your hometown. You will be surprised at what you may find. Cities and town often host various events for the benefit of their community. Be it an art exhibition, a food festival, or a book fair, see what interests you and participate in these events. These form part of the very social fabric of the city and they will tell you a lot about the people – how they live and think, what they like, what they want, etc.
One thing is for sure – there is a lot more to every place than we already know and our hometown is no different. Whether you are a habitual tourist or just a travel enthusiast, a little tour around your own hometown will not only give you a lot of pleasure, but a lot of food for thought too. So grab your walking shoes, get creative, and explore your city with a whole new wave of curiosity.