With borders closed around the world, our international trips have been put on hold for a while – but that doesn’t mean we can’t still get our travel fix. Too often we take for granted all the wonderful adventures to be had in our home countries, so it’s time to start looking within your country to keep your wanderlust in check. To help inspire your domestic travels, here are 9 things you’ll discover about yourself when you travel in your own backyard.
1. How much your country can surprise you
How much of the country you call home have you seen? While we’re dreaming of faraway lands, we so often forget the wonders that our own country has to offer. Every country is filled with unique treasures and it’s all right under our noses, just waiting to be explored.
When you venture out into your own backyard, you’ll likely be surprised by all the things you’ve never seen before, and you’ll come to appreciate your homeland even more than you already do. There’s always more to discover!
2. Your culture, history and heritage
One of the most important things we gain on our travels is learning about different cultures and histories. But have you ever stopped to really get to know your own heritage? We usually don’t look at our own culture and history with fascination like other travellers do, so now is the time to look at your country with fresh eyes.
Maybe there are some interesting historical sites you’ve never discovered or some beautiful traditions you’ve never learned about. Whatever you find, you’re sure to come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for your own country.
3. You have a sense of pride in your country
Your country is more than just where you live. For many people, it offers an important sense of belonging and shared identity. It feels great to be a part of a community and by exploring your own country, you’ll likely discover a sense of pride in your roots.
Go in search of the natural wonders, cultural treasures, rich history and unique personality of your country, and feel proud that this is a part of you too. You’ll become an ambassador for your country and share all your wonderful discoveries with your community and other travellers!
4. You share a connection to your fellow locals
One of the best parts of travelling is meeting new people along the way, and this is especially true when you meet people on your home soil. They’ll be located much closer and it will be easier to stay in contact and go on more adventures together.
Plus, you’ll get a great insight into the lives of your fellow residents, from their different customs and rituals, to their jobs, the way they dress, the foods they eat, and even their accents! You may all live in the same country, but that doesn’t mean everyone lives the same way. Someone who comes from a bustling city will likely have a very different life to someone who lives on rural farmlands. You might just discover a whole new world in your own country!
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5. Your favourite childhood memories
Domestic travel will not only take you to new places – it’s bound to lead you back to your old favourite spots. Maybe it was your favourite beach as a kid or a special walking trail through a forest. When you head back to that cherished place, you’ll get to spend time reminiscing on happy memories – and even create new ones!
6. How spontaneous you can be when travelling
Passports, visas, foreign currencies, exchanging cash, language barriers…. You don’t have to worry about any of these when you travel in your own country. If you’re someone who finds planning international trips stressful, a domestic tour or vacation will give you room to be more flexible.
The beauty of being a local tourist is that you spend far less time in transit. That leaves you more time to explore the beautiful sights around you. Just hop on a bus, train, car or even a bike, and explore as much as you like.
7. There’s an adventure around every corner
How often do you take the time to explore your own city? We bet if you stop and really take a look, you’ll be amazed by all the things you’ll find. You don’t have to travel to far-flung shores to experience something new and exciting.
All you need is an inquisitive mind and a fresh outlook and you’ll get all the adventure you could ask for right on your doorstep. Look at your country in a new light and you’ll really see it come to life.
8. You’ll never stop learning or discovering new passions
Travel is one of the greatest teachers we’ll ever have. It inspires a sense of wonder and offers a whole world of fascinating things to do and people to meet. You can keep learning through domestic travel right in your own backyard.
Whether you explore a new neighbourhood, try a new cuisine, drive up the coast, or strike up a conversation with your neighbour, you’re bound to come across an enriching experience. It doesn’t matter where you go – travel will always steal your heart and show you something new.
9. Who you really are
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves”Andre Gide
When you explore your own country, you’re taking a journey of self-discovery. Your homeland is part of your story and when you travel in your country, you’ll get to see the bigger picture. You’ll start to understand where you come from – and who you are.
Like the idea of planning a travel adventure in your own backyard? Then you’re in luck. Starting with New Zealand, Trafalgar’s new Near Not Far Limited Series of trips have been created to help travellers re-connect to the wonders that can be found in their own backyard.
If you are from New Zealand, you can discover our new Limited Series of trips here. And if you’re not? Sit tight, as we’ll be releasing more information on our domestic travel series in the coming weeks.