Travel in your own back yard

I recently saw a blog entry entitled: “Travel Inspirations: Looking Further Than Your Own Backyard” and it got me thinking about how I explore. I’ve travelled a bit, and lived in three different countries, crossing the equator to do so. Is it because I’m Australian and we tend to value exploring the world? Is it because I’ve achieved a financial independence that my foremothers were always denied by the ones who were supposed to love them most? Is it because as a society, we never seem to be happy with what we’ve got, and look further afield for satisfaction? For whatever reasons, I tend to look way beyond my backyard for travel inspiration. And I think that’s a problem. Let me explain why.

Everywhere I’ve lived has gems that I’ve never discovered. When people discover I’m from Melbourne, they mention the Twelve Apostles or The Grampians, or broader Australian attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (aka Ayers Rock). Have I travelled to any of these places? Nope. And now that I’ve spent more than three years in France, I’m doing it again. When I first arrived, I was so excited to learn of a cheese maker in Thônes who does tours, the farm across the road from my place in La Clusaz where you can feed the cows in winter when they’re bored in their sheds, and the farm just up the road that sells fresh eggs and butter which I thought I’d visit regularly for such treats. There are cheese caves in Le Grand Bornand where visits can be arranged! Have I done any of these things? Nope. Okay, I’ve discovered all sorts of other great things around this area, but why do I look beyond my own backyard when there’s still so much more to explore on my doorstep?

This week, I asked my friends if they do the same. One has been in a cheese cave at Le Grand Bornand, but it was to do with work. Nobody had been on the cheese making tour, and one friend had fed the cows right opposite my old place in La Clusaz when she was with some children. I trumped them all with my multiple visits to the goat farm, with extra points for regularly buying cheese from it. But still, we’re all a bit hopeless.

So, my challenge to myself and to you is to explore more of the local treats in your area and see just what’s there to discover and enjoy. Time starts now.

About

I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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7 comments on “Travel in your own back yard
  1. Bex says:

    Can I have bonus points? I’ve been to Elizabeth Castle, Grosnez Ruins, The Maritime Museum, The Zoo, The Underground Hospital, most of the beaches…. I’ve been on the ‘petit train’ and am attending Gorey Fete De La Mer this weekend. (There are still things I’m missing out on though).

  2. “Everything’s better if it comes from a long way away”, as Granny Weatherwax once not-very-famously remarked.

  3. Amanda says:

    I think you just get so use to the place you live that you don’t get around to seeing the local gems. I lived in Boston for 6 years, but most of the site-seeing I did there happened before I moved to the city. And my husband’s colleagues think its weird that we bother to visit the local museums and marl caves (here in Maastricht). One of the perks of my blog is that if forces me to get out and explore my local area. 🙂

  4. LM Preston says:

    I love to travel, but my parents and grandparents are city folks that hate even going out of the city. I always had a thirst for more. Wanted to see and experience more. I believe a lot also depends on where you are raised and your personal desires. Even when I was a poor college student, I put away money for vacations to far off places. Now my kids have the travel bug and I hope to send them away for one semester of college abroad.

  5. April says:

    Bex, so Jersey is bigger than I thought! Some lovely differing views about travel – thanks everyone.

  6. Ruby says:

    I totally agree! I didn’t do any tours around Sydney until I was overseas and came home to Sydney for a brief holiday. I did the tour to Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour and loved it, and since then I’ve been sold on being a local tourist 🙂

  7. Dominique says:

    The whole point of my blog is traveling fairly close to home for the most part. We like to get out as often as we can, and often that that means a day trip or just an overnight. So I went ahead and embraced the fact that we don’t always have the time to travel far or to exotic locations…writing about the area I know best (Midwest US).

    We have memberships to a handful of museums around town, so we make sure we get to most of them at least a time or two a year.
    I agree with Amanda when she says writing her blog really encourages her to get out and explore her local area. I’ve gone to a number of places that I’ve always wanted to go…but previously never got around to visiting…specifically because I was looking for something to blog about 🙂

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