Have you ever really explored where you live? Do you know what treasures can be found tucked away in the back of the shops that line the streets? If you are asked for a restaurant recommendation are you familiar with the local eateries where the servers know everyone and the food really tastes home-made? Have you ever really explored the park or discovered the local art gallery?
It always amazes me how much you can find when you head out on foot, especially in areas that you normally drive through. The slower speed enables you to see things that you easily over-look when driving by, especially because when on foot you are not as distracted as when you are driving. Since you are exploring, you can take the opportunity to visit that shop you always thought “looks like a neat place to visit”.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a large city or a small town, there are surprises to be found everywhere. The small town that I come from has an art gallery on the court square, chock full of local art. You would never find it driving, though; I discovered it while walking.
Perhaps you would be more interested in a different type of local information. Every community has some surprising tidbits of history tucked away in its past. Not only is the history there, but so are the markers. I’m always surprised by the events that happened in the most random locations. (There was a B29 bomber that crashed in July of 1945 less than 10 miles from the house I grew up in.) You can search out these markers and learn more about a local past.
If searching out history is your thing, not only can you seek out monuments and markers, but you can seek out the very foundations of your town. The city where I am attending school has dry-stacked (no mortar) stone walls that are over a century old lining some of its roads. Some of the buildings match the walls in age. It’s always interesting to discover these pieces of history that are still in use today.
Don’t hesitate to take a longer look at places you think you know. You might have over-looked something in the past, or something might have changed since you last visited. It seems that every time I visit the local park there is something new (or new to me). Perhaps a different bush is in bloom, progress has been made on the new walking trail, or I get to see the sunset framed behind the trees.
You will work up a pretty good appetite while exploring. Continue seeking out new things as you prepare to dine. Try a new eatery; some of the best food I’ve had came from the most unlikely-looking places. If you’ve already been everywhere, visit a familiar place but sample a new dish. How can you say who has the best burgers in town until you’ve tried them all?
You might not be able to explore your whole community in a single afternoon, and that is probably not a bad thing. You can start every trip at a different place, view things from a different angle, and continue to discover new secrets about your home.