Whether you’ve just moved to a new town/city or have been living in the same place for a while, there are a few things you can do to feel (re)enchanted with where you live. Between bank holidays and the days getting longer, this is a great time to spice things up in your relationship with your surroundings. Read on for a few ideas and then share your own in the comments!
1) Be a tourist
Whenever I am on holiday, I endeavour to go on a free walking tour on the first day in a new place – it’s a great way of finding my bearings and getting a snapshot of the local history and culture. So why not take that attitude home? If you live in a big city, you may be able to go on one of the Sandemans New Europe Tours. I’ve been on their tours in London, Barcelona, Lisbon and Edinburgh… and they have yet to disappoint!
If you don’t live in one of their 18 locations, you can find local walking tours by simply googling them. If you can, I specifically recommend going on a free walking tour: because you will see more than from a bus and because the guides of “free” tours generally perform better as they are working for donations. So google it today, learn something new about where you live and remember to give a bit at the end!
2) Connect with nature
Seek out pockets of green where you live and pay attention to who you are sharing the space with. Head out to your closest park or woodland and be mindful of the plants and animals around you – you might be surprised! I regularly spot herons and bambis that people staring down at their phones miss for instance. Observing our little and large neighbours can increase your appreciation for your immediate surroundings.
This also becomes more enjoyable the more you learn about the nature around you. Whether you prefer using guidebooks, doing short courses or contributing to science, there are many ways to learn more about plants and animals, thus making being outside even more familiar and enjoyable.
3) Do it for the exchangeagram
You don’t have to put them on social media, but challenge yourself to go take photos of where you live. Try to head out at different times of the day to capture the early morning light, the golden hour or a sunset. Don’t let adverse weather hinder your efforts: stormy skies can look quite majestic in their own way. Taking photos (or if you’re really inspired – drawing or painting) forces you to pay attention to the beauty of your surroundings.
4) Take part in something new
A good way to shake things up and meet people is attending local events. I don’t go to that many things, but I make sure to check three sources weekly to not miss out on anything that looks interesting: the local what’s on page, the events I have been invited to on Facebook and what’s coming up on Meetup. A couple weeks ago my partner and I went to a talk given by an author in a bookshop – we hadn’t read the book but it was quite interesting and also involved a glass of wine, all for less than £5!
5) Eat somewhere different
I don’t know how we hadn’t been there before, but we recently ate in a fab Lebanese café in Abingdon – with yummy food and very welcoming staff. I am sure there are little gems to be discovered near where you live too! A great way of discovering new places to eat (especially if you are vegetarian/vegan) is the Happy Cow website/app. It was really helpful when I was in Torbay for work, but you can also use it to find lesser-known and often reasonably-priced eateries that are local to you – they could end up becoming favourites.
6) Do some good
Have a think about what kind of volunteering appeals to you: being outdoors? Looking after young people? Then conduct a quick Google search of what you can do locally and try it once! It may end up becoming a passion of yours or just be a one off, but it will most likely brighten your day. Giving back may lead to some beautiful connections and to taking more pride in your local community.
BONUS: go away!
Next time you’re abroad, or just away for work or visiting relatives, make note of the things you miss. Then when you get home, make time for them and be grateful for all the qualities of where you live!
What do you think? If you liked the ideas, please share this post! Any other recommendations? If so, share them in the comments!