Whenever I travel to a new country, I buy a guidebook, start highlighting all the places I want to visit, and check out any blogs written on the area for some more off the beaten track recommendations. Believe it or not, there are also travel guides to my home country England, and there are plenty of both foreign and local bloggers who write about the best places to visit up and down the country. When I started checking recommended places to visit around the North of England, I discovered that one of the best sunrise spots in the UK exists just an hour from my doorstep. Sometimes the tourists know more than the locals!

1. Check out travel guides and blog posts for your home country

Whenever I travel to a new country, I buy a guidebook, start highlighting all the places I want to visit, and check out any blogs written on the area for some more off the beaten track recommendations. Believe it or not, there are also travel guides to my home country England, and there are plenty of both foreign and local bloggers who write about the best places to visit up and down the country. When I started checking recommended places to visit around the North of England, I discovered that one of the best sunrise spots in the UK exists just an hour from my doorstep. Sometimes the tourists know more than the locals! 

2. Find your local market

I love visiting local markets when I travel. I love the atmosphere, the weird things you can find on sale, the children running under tables and the smell of local flavours tumbling through the market hall. I’d failed to realise that their are some pretty great markets in my home town too. They might not sell bundles of Lychees for 20 baht, and there’s definitely no Bedouin men looking to sell me desert jewellery, but instead they represent everything that’s great about country life in the North of England.

PicMonkey Collage

3. Get lost

I love getting helplessly lost in a foreign city, discovering hidden corners, finding secret view points and the best local food at backstreet cafes. I’ve got lost in the markets of Marrakesh, the backstreets of Kathmandu, the bar scene in Reykjavik and the train lines of Siberia. But I’ve never spent enough time exploring the area around my own house; an area full of farm lands, country pubs, hiking trails and stunning natural beauty

IMG_0630

4. Grab some friends and head out on a spontaneous camping trip

One of the best things about life on the road is having the freedom to do and go wherever you want, whenever you want. Although most people at home are more tied down into jobs or family life, it’s never too hard to find a night to spend wild camping in the countryside, under starry skies, sipping ciders and retelling old tales.

FU8A0316

5. Check out Couchsurfing and Instagram communities for local area meet-ups

The internet has it’s ups and downs, but I think every traveller is grateful for the connections it brings them and the people it introduces them too. There’s now communities wherever you go, including in your own home. Couchsurfed in Singapore? Why not host people in your own home! If you don’t have the capacity to do so, check out local events, where you can often attend regular meet ups which will introduce you to new people from both your local area and abroad. There are also many Instagram communities for popular cities and scenic areas, which is often it’s a great way to meet people with a shared interest in exploration and photography.

IMG_2602

6. Re-visit some of your favourite childhood places

When I was a child, some of my favourite local areas were the local petting farm, local parks and swimming pools nearby. Many of these places I hadn’t visited in years, but when I checked them out, I discovered many of them were adult friendly as well as being child friendly.

7. Find friends living around the country and pay them a visit

I now have friends scattered all around England, and visiting each one of them is a perfect way to see new parts of the country, rekindle old friendships and have a free place to stay. Having a local to show you around a city is the best way to see it, and as a solo traveller, having a travel companion is a welcome change!

IMG_2423

8. Explore the local multi-cultural communities in your area

We are very lucky that most countries around the world are now multi-cultural. England definitely is, and as I live just down the road from Bradford, I can eat some of the best curries available outside of India. Many faith houses will also welcome you in, even if you’re just curious. See if your local Sikh temple serves free lunches, or if your local Hindu temple has open prayer sessions. You don’t have to be in the Himalayas to visit a Tibetan Buddhist centre, or in the Middle East to celebrate an authentic Eid.

FU8A0645

9. Check out local event guides for some off the beaten track days out

Most big cities in the UK have a vibrant events calendar, with many of the options being completely free. Live music in parks, Christmas markets and food festivals are just some of the things which might be taking place soon right where you live!

10. Go hiking!

Hiking is often a great way to explore the countryside and find beautiful view points you often might miss. I’ve hiked through the Himalayas, the Burmese highlands and through California’s National Parks, but who knew some of my favourite walks existed in my local National Park, The Peak District. Britain also has some great long distance hiking, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t walk the Camino de Santiago next summer, try Coast to Coast instead!

11. Watch the sunrise/sunset

Whenever I’m away, I make an effort to see most sunrises and sunsets wherever I go. This is essential as a photographer, as you capture the best light, but it is also often the most beautiful time of the day, and can teach you to view the area where you live in a whole new light.

IMG_2643

12. Explore your capital city with new eyes

I studied in London for three years but I only realised when I came back to England after travelling, how many ‘tourist’ attractions I’d never been to. I’m a huge Beatles fan and I’d never even taken a day to visit Abbey Road! Coming back to London with travellers eyes made me see the city in a whole different way, and it make me love it a whole lot more. Go and visit those tourist attractions you might think to be ‘cheesy’ or full of tour buses, often they are famous for a reason.

13. Carry your camera wherever you can

I often get lazy when I return home and leave my camera in its case. Actively carrying my camera everywhere I go forces me to see things with photographers eyes, the way I see other countries and cultures. I tend to spot little details more, and I love having memories of those times I’ve been back home.

14. Look at volunteering opportunities in your local area

Thanks to amazing sites like Workaway and HelpX, travelling is now more rewarding and cheaper than ever. I often check out both sites when I’m away, hunting for opportunities which might suit my skills or interesting projects I might want to spend a few days getting involved with. There might be 155 hosts available in Thailand, but there’s 945 in the UK! These vary from volunteering in a Buddhist retreat centre in the Yorkshire Wolds, working in hostels in the Scottish Highlands and volunteering at music festivals over Summer. Why not have a search and see how many possibilities exist in your own country.

IMG_1804

15. Take shorter adventures around your home continent

I have a life long passion for the vibrant cultures of Asia, a passion which requires long-haul flights and a considerable amount of time and money to access. However, I’m lucky enough to live close to Europe and Northern Africa, an area of the world full of cultural difference, strange and exotic languages and just about every landscape you can find on earth. It’s more than possible to take the bus over to Amsterdam, catch a budget flight to Iceland or have a week in Morocco, all without breaking the bank. Turns out, you don’t need to fly half way around the world to experience a foreign land, there’s plenty on our doorstep.

PicMonkey Collage2

Author: ANNAPURNA. Source from Travellets.

Have you ever tried to feel like a traveller in your home country? Let us know if you have any more ideas in the comments below!