Travel can be a great way to broaden your horizons, experience another culture and improve your confidence. However, you don’t need to go abroad to have great experiences. There is a treasure trove of wonderful places and activities right on your doorstep in your local community. Sadly these resources often go untapped as people go about their everyday lives and don’t recognise their existence. However, if you are interested in getting involved, here are some great things to discover in your local community.
Locally owned businesses are a staple in any community, however they often struggle to compete with large chains. So make sure to do your part and take a look off the beaten track to see what your town or city has to offer. A locally-owned restaurant, bar, or coffee shop often has a more homely feel along with high-quality dishes you may not have tried before, and a local craft shop can provide some fantastic unique items. Google Maps and Tripadvisor are great places to start for some new finds, and local guides should have some good recommendations.
Whether you’ve moved to a new area and are looking to start a social circle from scratch, or you simply want to expand your network in your hometown, meetups are the best way to meet new people. These group gatherings are packed with people with the same intention, so they’re great for striking up friendships. Meetup.com has a variety of general and special interest groups and the events allow you to explore the local area, and Citysocializer is a great way of forming a group if you live in a major city.
Landmarks & Attractions
If you’re a long-time local, you may have fallen into the grind of everyday living and not seen the best your town or city has to offer. Every area has an array of landmarks, scenic areas, and museums that you may not have even heard of before; branching out and trying something new can open you up to a whole host of hidden gems. Check out Tripadvisor or TimeOut for the main attractions in your area. Local guides should be helpful too.
Every town or city can be host to some great events that most people don’t hear about. If your social life consists of meals and nights out, a bit of research can open you up to a whole host of new experiences, from quirky craft fairs to comedy nights to evening classes. Most events are listed on Facebook, so make sure to dig around in the Events section. You can also find a range of events on Eventbrite.
If you fancy giving something back, volunteering is a great way of getting in touch with your community. Not only is it a great way of meeting new people, but it’s also a great way of getting involved in your area in a whole new light. Your local food bank is bound to be on the lookout for volunteers to help sort and box food parcels, and a quick Google search should provide you with some local charities that may be on the lookout for a helping hand. Do It is also a great organisation for finding volunteering opportunities.
Community gardens have been a key part of the community for hundreds of years; in WWII, allotments were set up on inner city sites to provide the residents with affordable fresh fruit and vegetables. Today, they are still valuable additions to local areas, transforming vacant sites into green spaces, and are great ways of getting involved with your local community and helping other discover gardening. Check out this list to find community gardening projects in your area.
Operating on a tight budget this month? Discount websites such as Groupon and Wowcher are great ways of enjoying your local area on a budget. These sites have some great deals to snap up, including restaurant discounts, cooking courses, activities such as paintball and trampolining, and more. These not-to-be-missed offers are great ways to explore and enjoy your local community without breaking the bank.