On this blog, I’ve focused more on international travel than anything else, but doing new things locally definitely has its value. When talking about vacation plans, I couldn’t tell you how often I get, “Well, we’re just going to __.” Of course I love international travel, but I think that going places a little closer to home is great, too. Never put down your trip just because you aren’t traveling very far!
I want to do a series highlighting some of the things I’ve done more locally. I find that it satisfies part of my desire for new experiences, and it makes me appreciate where I live a little more. I hope that my local experiences can inspire you to have more of your own. And if you have suggestions for me, I always want to hear them!
Local Experiences 1: Parks
In my county, there’s an excellent park system, and I didn’t even realize it for several years after moving here. There’s so much more to do than just sit on a park bench or walk on a trail. Here are some of the things I’ve found!
As stand up paddleboarding has become more popular over the past several years, our local parks have purchased stand up paddleboards for rent. They’ve been adding locations with stand up paddleboards, and the rental fee for residents of the county is very cheap. It gives me a little bit of a sense of being on vacation because it seems like an activity so out-of-place for Ohio.
Look for parks near you, because there are probably more places where you can hike than you think. In my area, there are a lot of different hiking routes, some with waterfalls, some with horse trails, and more. There’s also a hiking club that has people hike 100+ miles per year. I haven’t joined it yet, but I keep saying I’m going to.
This is one of those things Greg and I did maybe once when we were dating, then forgot about. A few summers ago, I got back into it again. Kayaking is great because it can be for exercise, to relax, alone, or with a group. There is a surprising number of places near me to kayak, including many with rental kayaks. Look into it in your area! You may be surprised too.
I love to do random things simply because I’ve never done them before, and that is exactly why I tried log rolling for the first time. I was in an Adventure Club for a couple of years, and this was the activity one month. It’s in this post because it was actually through the local parks, and not in a lake like you’d think, but in a pool at a YMCA. It also wasn’t an actual wooden log, but one made for log rolling. It was so much fun!
Another activity done simply because it was the Adventure Club activity of the month and I’d never tried it, wood carving wasn’t my time to shine. Do you know how tedious it is? Now I do. The point is, if it’s something new for you and if you see a local wood carving night, you should try it because your bird might turn out like an actual bird, and not a stick with rounded ends the way mine did.
Above are a few examples of things I’ve done through the park systems in my area. There are so many other things available though. Local parks usually have a ton of children’s activities, so check out their calendar if you have kids. There are also usually other things like geocaching, mini-races, 5ks of various themes, and more.
Find things that you can do near your home! Even if it just means traveling across your county or city, trying out things and gaining experiences is really what travel is all about.
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it’s lethal.Paulo Coelho