Take a holiday in your own city
I know this seems silly, but sometimes people forget how beautiful their own local city or town is. Head to your nearest city for the weekend and feel the excitement of being a tourist in your own backyard. Research local spots online (you might find something completely new!) and plan an itinerary. Even a day trip to a new area can give the same (well as close to) holiday buzz as heading on an overseas trip.
Do a house swap
I recently went away for the weekend and lent my flat to my friend and her partner (they live 20 minutes away). It was exciting to hear all the fun stuff she had planned in my local area, which then inspired me to explore some of it on my return.
I am looking forward to doing a house swap with her place in the future, getting to mix up the scenery and explore new spots around the corner from each other. If you have friends that live further away, even better – suggest a swap for the week or just the weekend and explore a change of scenery.
Bring back the road trips
Ok, I have to admit I bloody love a good road trip. The excitement of grabbing some mates, filling up the car, and spending hours talking and listening to music whilst driving down the highway.
Road trippin’ is an essential aspect of Aussie travelling, with so much to explore both inland and by the ocean.
Just in New South Wales, which is 801,150 km², I had no idea the vast amount there is to do and especially by car. The great part about road tripping is the ability to travel relatively cheaply with multiple people, whilst visiting multiple areas. If no-one has a car, rent one! The more people that travel in the car, the eco-friendlier the journey is (i.e. less emissions per person).
Support smaller communities
“We need to diversify our locations to avoid mass tourism and focus on the places that really need it…Seeing so many communities suffer during COVID-19 has brought [this issue] to light.” – Kate Newman, Travel for Difference, National Geographic, 2020
Byron Bay has enough tourists; make travelling more interesting and head to the less-crowded areas and support other local communities.
With just a little research (word of mouth or the internet), you can find some really beautiful and unique towns and areas, with cute pubs, cafes and walks. For example, recently a few friends and I headed to Coonabarabran (sitting on land traditionally owned by the Gamilaroi people). The area is only six-hours’ drive from Sydney (with plenty of fun stops along the way), this small country town just happens to be the stargazing capital of Australia.
Revel in the micro-adventure
There is nothing quite as fulfilling as a micro-adventure which global adventurer Alastair Humphreys states is, an adventure that is “small and achievable, for normal people with real lives.” I think this is even more applicable now, with people’s lives being more complicated than ever yet desperately needing connection to nature and adventure.
The meaning and itinerary of a micro-adventure is set entirely by the adventurer (you) and can include a whole family with young kids. The internet is brimming with inspirational content and advice – for Australia and New Zealand head to We Are Explorers, for the UK see tips in Nat Geo here or for Europe see Wired for Adventure. Search micro-adventures in your city/country and share them with others!