How To Love Where You Live

Everyone who’s traveled has experienced the post-trip slump. Whether you go on a weekend road trip three hours outside of town or a two-week-long Mediterranean cruise, you always feel the hard slap back into reality when you get home to the regular work grind. 

On my last vacation in Paris, my husband mentioned how lucky people were to live there. It got me thinking; is the city as magical to these hardened Parisians as it was to us, or at some point does the sparkle fade away?

Our little city of Providence isn’t exactly a major tourist hotspot, but it does get a good amount of visitors. So what is it that’s attracting people here that we’re not seeing? When you live in a place for so long not only are you distracted by the hustle of everyday life, but you also fall into a pattern of going to the places you are familiar and comfortable with. If you try and see your own home town through the eyes of a visitor, you can experience that same excitement of going on a trip while you’re waiting for your next weekend getaway or jet-setting holiday. 

Try That New Restaurant

We’re pretty lucky in Providence; we’ve got a lot of pretty amazing food spots from food trucks to fine dining. But, if you used to ask me which ones I like best, I would have named maybe ten. Us humans like to go where we know; the food is good, the price is right, and the people are nice. But if you only stick to old standbys, you don’t know what you’re missing, good or bad. 

Since coming back from vacation six weeks ago I’ve tried more new restaurants in Providence than I did probably this whole year. Most of them were amazing, and a couple were disappointing. But at least now I know they suck, and can act even more like a know-it-all local when people ask for recommendations.

Do The Tourist Stuff

Go to the crowded monument, the busy museum, or on a double decker bus tour. (Yes, even you, chic New Yorkers and Silicon Valley hipsters.) If you live in a place that has these kinds of attractions that means something pretty cool and/or important happened there. Millions of tourists know more about the history of your own city than you. Don’t let them show you up like that.

Visit Different Neighborhoods

When you travel you have a limited time in that location, so you try and see as much of the region as possible. When we’re home, we go to the same coffee shop, same grocery store, same everything all the time. Traveling abroad or in different cities is all about exploring and leaving the comforts of home, but you can still get that experience locally.

Case in point, I’d been wanting to try Korean fried chicken for months since I saw it featured in a video on Facebook. When a Korean friend chicken restaurant opened in Providence it took me three months to get there because it was a cold winter and there are no close parking spots. 

When we are home, the urgency is taken out of the equation because we think “I can always go another time,” a luxury we don’t have when traveling. Commit to trying something new and make plans to do it with a friend, call and make a reservation, or write it on your calendar -- whatever you have to do to commit yourself to a new experience.