I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're all guilty of looking outwards for adventure, exploration, and fun but more often than not there are plenty of discovery we can do just at our footsteps. We just don't realize it.
Exotic lands far away and the prospect of immersing yourself in new cultures, foods and people is all really exciting but a lot of times you don't need catch a flight or drive 5-6 hours to get away.
5 Go anytime
The beauty about the local gems is that you don't need to make special plans to make it happen. You just get up and go.
Big vacations always take a lot of time to plan and most people I know will plan big vacays around long weekends to minimize days off. As a result, vacation becomes very calculated, precise and planned.
For my most recent trip up to Central Counties along their A Country Path route, all I did was look up the map they provided, picked a few places that interested me and away we went the next day.
4 Learn about local history
I don't know if this is a Canadian thing or not but I don't know what it is about us not being that interested in our own history. I've always found it fascinating and with local trips, it's fun to learn about how a certain area developed over time or businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Forts are always fun to explore as I learned in Buffalo as is something as simple as learning about an old water-powered mill that used to produce the region's flour.
3 Save money
This one's obvious right. When you travel long and far away, you have to factor in a ton of costs. From flights, car rental, gas and hotel, big trips always account for a big chunk of your annual budget. If you're travelling with kids, the costs jump up even more and so making travelling even more difficult.
Instead, why not travel local and make that money go farther. Make it a day trip and save on the expensive flights and hotels. Think of all the local wines, cheeses, ice cream and other local goodies you'll be able to get! Treat yourself to an awesome dinner too while you're at it!
2 Support local businesses
Now this is something that might not automatically pop up in your head but it's a great feeling to be able to support the local businesses, farmers and craftsmen. With internationalization and the rise of imports, those folks living in the country side have had to work that much harder to make a living. By going out to explore these charming rural areas, you're directly and indirectly impacting their lives and economy.
There are so many benefits of supporting local businesses. A few I can think of are: preservation of local character, environmental sustainability (more organics and reduction of sprawl), money staying in instead of going out, increased innovation and entrepreneurship, and specialized products that are way better than the big box stores.
1 Travel more
At the end of the day, all we want to do is get out more right? Now I'm not saying that you should stop doing this big epic trips, instead you know I'm a total fan of going all out but why not get out even more? Think about all those quiet Sundays or the Friday-off-because-you-can't-bank-any-more-vacation-days. Instead of doing nothing, head out and create your own adventure!
The A Country Path trip was sponsored by the Central Counties, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own.