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by Meredith Wilshere

Photography by Noor Nasser

Traveling abroad is not your only vacation option. Why not plan a “staycation” and explore your hometown just like any other tourist would. Not only are staycations more affordable, but they open your eyes to the everyday sights you might normally overlook. Learn more about where you live and take pride in your community.

One of the best things about hometowns is that they rarely change. This is a particularly welcome observation for college students, who often crave this familiarity after living on campus for extended periods of time. The streets are there to welcome you home with familiar sights, and the streetlights never change. When you go home, you may notice the little changes like trees that have been cut down and houses that have been put up, but you also know the air still smells as sweet as it did when you were growing up.

Becoming a tourist in your hometown may seem tricky. However, most of it relies on the ability to see the town with a new set of eyes. To do so, you may have to put sentimentality aside and permit yourself to create new memories.

Try someplace or somewhere new

To become a tourist in your hometown, start by trying different restaurants. One of the best things about hometowns is the familiarity of it all, knowing exactly where all your favorite spots are and who is going to be working there. To be a tourist in your hometown you have to see everything with different eyes. Go to place that you’ve never been to before, or if you are unwaveringly dedicated to the places there, at least a new item on the menu.

Enjoy taking your time

Slow down. People watch. We expect so much of the places that we're from because we know them so well. We then take a lot for granted, like grabbing a coffee at our favorite coffee shop or grabbing a quick bite to eat. One of the ways to feel like you are making the most of being back in your hometown is to enjoy your time there. When you go to your favorite coffee shop, enjoy the process of it all. Enjoy being in your hometown, and enjoy the coffee that’s sitting right in front of you. Sometimes we take the things we know the best for granted. Take your time with them, and you will feel like you are really enjoying the moment.

See the town with new eyes

Sometimes it’s hard to look at things with new eyes, especially things that we know so well. We take them for granted, overlook them and even forget why we hold them so dear. To be a tourist in our hometowns, we have to see our towns differently - instead of a place we know so well, we have to think of our hometowns as places to continue to explore and enjoy.

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