8 January 2015

Being a tourist in my own hometown

Travelling the length of New Zealand's North Island this Christmas (more to follow next week), it occurred to me that once leaving my home country all I could think about was travelling to see the world, explore new cultures & experience the unique and infamous *activities* of the exotic, unfamiliar cities we come across. It's taken a few years to occur to me, but how often do we travel-lusting lot sit back and explore our own hometown backyard?


I don't necessarily mean watching the weeds wave gently from the manicured back lawn (weeds are the only plant I have managed to grow well bar grass and a rather determined rose bush), but actually loving the city where you work, the village that you live in or the region you hearken from. I've also had a few of my friends tiptoe home lately from their crazy London lives to be with their much missed families, and lament how they feel that they will become stuck. 

It is hard. How do you view roads that you've travelled for umpteen years with any excitement? Paths that you know exactly where they end. Sights that only a tourist could love... oh wait...!

Road trip: Castle hunting: Gloucestershire princesses for the night - Adventures of a London Kiwi

Well, arriving on New Zealand soil with a few sunny days to keep myself entertained I found myself deploying a few of the travel skills I've learned over the years, much to my surprise.

Asking Twitter natives for recommendations, running through tourist board websites, Googling the phrase "things to do in xxxx" and flicking through Pinterest.

Signing up to local council newsletters, searching local hashtags, wandering into a nearby tourist information center and seeking out delicious new places to try delicacies like the ever questing sweet tooth of Kelly.

Walking that path I've always meant to take (and turn cartwheels like Amanda).

Treating ourselves to a glass of wine in a local hotel with an amazing view.


Getting out and about Erin-style.

Having an insatiable curiosity.

Driving home in the evenings keeping my eyes peeled - in the UK & NZ watching for brown roadsigns and historic home hunting like Dannielle.

Organise a picnic with friends in an unusual location.


I swiftly went from acting like a bored local to skidding about as an excitable tourist - and adventuring in a town or two that I thought I knew altogether too well to explore. I managed to wise up and live up to the nom de plume 'Adventures of a London Kiwi' better than I expected. There's many an adventure to feature next week; feeding lions, paddling with penguins, walking windswept Wellington, exploring MiddleEarth like a Hobbit and spending hours blowing raspberries onto the belly of my baby nephew. You could say that it was a pretty enjoyable holiday...

34 comments :

  1. That sounds lovely! I love being a tourist when I am back home :) what a wonderful way to spend a holiday :)

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  2. I felt like I was a tourist a bit when I was back home having all these spots I wanted to visit and new places I needed to try. Sounds like you had a lovely trip home!

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  3. I love the idea of being a tourist in your own home town. There's places in London I've still never seen..actually that's the great thing about blogging, it encourages adventure and doing something new...it's way to easy to spend a Sunday at home reading the paper. I love that people on Twitter always have awesome suggestions.

    Thank you so much for the mention btw, such a lovely post!

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  4. Huzzah! And you deserve to have a wonderful, incredible holiday. And I can't wait to read all about it! xx

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  5. I think I will be exactly the same when I go home!!!

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  6. It's taken me a long time to 'click' but as ever it can be about making luck - I adore your adventures :)

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  7. It's because it is so close to us I think (that or we become so much more cheesey in our old age :D)

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  8. It's a strange aspect of living in another country isn't it?

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  9. It was utterly luscious - the only downside was not being able to take my husband with me. Next time!

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  10. Yeah I bet that would suck a bit! Next time though :) my favorite thing is going to some place you have always wanted to visit or taking a new road and finding domething brand new :)

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  11. Nice post! :-) I, too, have been thinking about becoming a tourist in my own city - Hyderabad. There is so much to explore - heritage, food, adventure.... I think it's more important to explore your own backyard before you fly to those far-flung places.

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  12. Sounds great! I love the concept of trying to be a tourist in your own town - even if you still live there! It frustrates me no end when people say 'oh that's just for tourists' about some of the amazing things we have to see in London, it's as though living somewhere means you don't need to explore. Keep up the adventures!

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  13. It's so true that it's harder to be a tourist in your home town because it's all so familiar (although less and less so the longer you've been away) but just by being determined to explore you can see so many more new things than you ever expected. It sounds like you're having a blast! Enjoy x

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  14. Can't wait to read about it all! I'm totally looking forward to checking out the homeland later this year too!

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  15. I've left it all ready for you! We'll be back at Christmas, so hopefully we can catch up then xx

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  16. Exactly - funnily enough my husband has lived in London for most of his life, but has seen more of in the few years than ever before. Sometimes it takes a tourist hey?

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  17. Absolutely - and it's incredible just how much you can discover! I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures!!

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  18. Sounds fantastic, I already can't wait to catch up! x

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  19. I think we're all a bit guilty of not exploring our home town, country and what not. Since leaving the UK, I realise just how little I'd seen of the UK. We try to explore Belgium as much as possible though so we make up for it a little :)


    ~ K

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  20. It's so true that we so often forget to expire our own backyard. I'm at the airport right now waiting for my flight back home and I hope to get to do some exploring that I've never done before. I guess you need to sometimes leave home to fully appreciate it. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures!!

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  21. I'm waiting on my visa to go to Spain back in my hometown and I never realized how much I took it for granted till I came back. Now I'm traipsing around like a tourist with newfound love for the place I spent so much of my life. I think it was that 'teenage' mode where nothing is cool especially your hometown, and it prevailed into my twenties. Now, I'm glad to say, I don't have that prejudice anymore - but that also is due to the fact that I traveled and I traveled because I wanted to get out of my then-not-so-cool hometown.

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  22. Big nod! Yup, ever since I started my blog in 2008, I've been exploring as much of South Africa as possible during my trips home. My friends love it and have begun to suggest new touristy outings fir my trips home that we would never have previously though of.

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  23. I'm certainly very guilty of it! I can't wait to read of yours!!

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  24. That is so true! I have been meaning to climb London's Monument for years and not got round to it yet. Looking forward to reading your animal adventures

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  25. Well done for adventuring in your own backyard! Well, your old backyard :) Thanks muchly for the mention as well, I'm a big advocate of finding the awesome things to do and see around you.

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  26. It is one of the best feelings in the world :)

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  27. New Zealand is really a great place to visit. I have visited New Zealand a few months ago when I was just coming back after completing my nyc to niagara falls tour . That was really a great kind of experience. New Zealand offers a lot of stuff to places to see and a lot of stuff to do. I enjoyed myself a lot when I was in New Zealand.

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