Literary street art in the Hawthorne District of Portland, a less-than-enthusiastic car found in Abilene, Kansas, Vancouver’s version of Chinatown, and the wild terrain of an abandoned backyard near my house. All with its own unique charm.
This year, I really challenge all those to read this to pledge to take time off from their busy studies or jobs and have some adventures. If you work five days a week, go on a weekend. If you have school, book a ticket right when break gets out.
Go on one trip a month — nothing extravagant, but something that takes you out of your typical comfort zone and setting. Whether it’s as local as the neighboring big city or state, find some time to get away. Walk through cities you’ve read about but never ventured to. Go to the “bad side of town” and found out what’s redeeming there. Discover the interesting nuances of neighborhoods and their personalities. You don’t need a car or a lot of money — just a phone with working GPS, Couchsurfing.com, and maybe a friend. Domestic travel is also really underrated, as there’s so much to see in the US, with half the airfare fee.
Other great ways to see places on a budget include:
- participating in reduced school programs for service and volunteer
- do a study abroad program
- get a grant to do research and work
- hijack your friends’ road trip and see something new while having a lot of fun
- keep track of rising and falling airfare and snag last-minute deals
- extended camping trips
- taking trains, busses, and ferries as opposed to flying
- leaving your laptop behind and bringing only a camera and a phone for emergencies
- going to places typically considered boring / underrated & finding something unique to love
- driving some place you haven’t been before and enjoying getting lost
And log your places you go to every month and why, even if they’re local — as long as you tried something new and had fun, put it down! For example:
Downtown LA: New Year’s in Grand Park with friends
San Francisco: wedding & family reunion
Seattle: visiting best friend for Valentine’s Day
Las Vegas: Well-deserved vacation
San Diego / Tijuana: Spring Break medical volunteer trip
Malibu: Wine-tasting, just because
USA: End of School road trip!
Look back on the next year and smile at all the adventures you were able to have with just a drive to set time aside and initiative.
To see my own challenge: http://diversecitythoughts.com/explore-a-month/