Maybe Dorothy was on to something when she said, “There’s no place like home.” Even if you can’t take an extravagant vacation right now, you can see the sights without breaking the bank — and create a fabulous travel journal to tell the tale.
Do you take your geographic location for granted? Are there places in your town you’ve never seen? It’s easy to get jaded when you’ve lived somewhere for years. But looking at your locale through the eyes of a tourist can be a boatload of fun. Creating a “travel” journal of the experience is even better. It can also re-ignite your love of your city and give you lots of new activities to enjoy.
Here are a few ideas for a staycation.
Be an Über-tourist
Break out your fanny pack, sunglasses and street map and hit the town. Pick up a local guidebook and haunt all the tourist traps, with a fresh eye. You’ll learn things about your city you never knew. Plus you’ll gain a new respect for the place where you live.
Take lots of photos and write about your experience. Collect items from the day like ticket stubs and maps. Be sure to buy lots of postcards. You can even fill them out and mail them to yourself during your travels.
Explore the underbelly
If you’ve already done the tourist loop, try the other extreme and go off the beaten path. See how “local” you can get — have coffee at a tiny neighborhood bakery. Visit a farmer’s market in another part of town.
If your city has an International District, go window shopping there. The foreign sights, sounds and smells will feel like you’re vacationing in a faraway land.
Invite a friend to visit
Showing someone else your city is another great way to truly enjoy the local treasures. Plus it gives you an “excuse” to hit the tourist traps, if you need one. I’m always excited when people come to visit because I can take them up in the Space Needle.
Involve your friend in your travel journal – make it a group effort. The journal will become a treasured memento of their visit.
Adventures in journaling
When you return from your “trip,” write about the experience in depth. You can include a collage of ephemera from the day, like ticket stubs and photographs. Try creating a hand-drawn map in your journal, with your own versions of landmarks.
Summer is a great time to get out and travel. Give it a shot without leaving home! You’ll gain a new appreciation for your town and capture the occasion to enjoy all over again later.
Have more ideas for travel journaling on the cheap? Leave them in the comments below!
This post was inspired by a Journaling Saves reader suggestion. Have an idea for a great entry? Tell me! If I use your idea in a future post or podcast, I’ll send you a treat-filled Journaling Saves goodie bag.