It’s getting close to Spring Break time, when hordes of students shake off the dreary monotony of winter in search of an early taste of the summer soon to come. On the flip side, Spring Break means nothing to the vast majority of us. Whether it’s because you’re not inclined to travel at the same time as everyone else, or you don’t care for the traditional Spring Break destinations, or you’re simply not in college anymore and your life is no longer governed by an academic calendar (regularly scheduled breaks? HA).
But even if you’re not traveling during Spring Break time, there’s no reason why you can’t still inject a little of the Spring Break spirit into your life. Why not take a moment to explore your own city?
Think about it. When was the last time you broke routine and saw someplace outside your normal commute, your immediate neighborhood, your favorite bar? No matter how big or small the place, there are hidden secrets everywhere and new places to explore. Take the time to explore them.
The best part about exploring your own city is that you don’t have a lot of the headaches involved with traveling. No going to the airport, no figuring out what to pack, no anxiety when you find out the airport is way outside the city, and you always have someplace to stay for free (well, you pay your rent/mortgage, but you were doing that anyways).
Not only that, but when you travel somewhere else, you’re there for a week or two and everything you want to do has to be compressed into that timeframe. When you live somewhere, you don’t have to have a relentlessly packed schedule, and you can also take advantage of some of the more temporary things, like an exhibition or a show coming to town that may or may not have coincided with a trip if you were traveling.
Here are a few suggestions on how to plan a day, a weekend, or a whole week of Spring Break right where you live:
1) Do a walking tour of a different neighborhood
Cities are big places. There are probably neighborhoods you’ve never visited before. Find a main thoroughfare in neighborhood you’ve never visited before and just go shop to shop. Maybe you’ll find someplace you end up coming back to.
2) Pick a thing, then visit all of them
Into darts? Try to visit all the dart bars in your city. Thai food fanatic? Visit all the best Thai spots. Like beer? Visit all the best local breweries. Into music? Try and hit every concert venue near you.
3) Do the touristy things you’ve probably never done
One of the first things many people ask when they hear you’re from somewhere probably goes a bit like “Oh, is the [famous landmark] as amazing as it seems,” and then you follow with an admission you’ve never actually bothered to check it out. Why not just go check it out?
4) Get (slightly) out of the city
If it’s in range of a commuter train, why not try seeing some of the parks, small towns, and historic sites that dot the areas around cities? You’ll probably be back in time for dinner! (Here’s a New York-specific one: Go to New Jersey! It’s literally just a subway ride away! It’s closer than Brooklyn! Sincerely, a proud New Jerseyan.)
5) Find an event, build a day around it
Is there a new temporary exhibit at a local museum? A theater performance? A concert? Show up early, or stick around afterwards at the venue and explore the surrounding neighborhood.
It’s your home! Time to get to know it.