Anytime we hear the word ”tourist” or ”tourism”, we tend to look far away from us. A trip outside our country or spending time in a distant town is what we begin to imagine. Sometimes, we even go as far as thinking about specific tourist sites and popular destinations. Tourism however, isn’t limited to such things. You can be a tourist in your own hometown. Jumia Travel shows you how to be a great tourist in your own hometown.
Record the activities – How many of us take pictures or record videos of our daily lives? When we visit the local market or visit the city centre? The main reason we may not do this is because we see it as a daily routine. However, the difference between an ordinary person and a tourist is that a tourist keeps record of his/her activities. Taking pictures and recording videos of very important events during a visit to a monument, tourist site or even the market or beach takes you one step closer in becoming a tourist. Carry a camera along or even use your phone or tablet. Capture every unique moment and keep it for a lifetime remembering all the nice places in your hometown. You may also show this to your children and generations to come if those places you visited no more exist during their time.
Go back in history – Personally, I know several people who don’t know their hometowns at all or have only visited once. They may have read about the history and tradition of their native lands in books or online but have never been there to see or hear for themselves the real story. Travel back home, visit important tourist destinations and learn about the great history/ tradition of your own hometown. This gives you the power to boast about how great your hometown is and how many important personalities may have come from there. What’s more? You can even take pictures and videos as evidence.
Sleep outside your home – What makes one a tourist is not only the fact that he is in a new environment or a little far from home. It’s also because he/she doesn’t have a home in that place. When touring your hometown, pick a day or two, book a hotel or guesthouse preferably not close to your own home and sleep there. This gives you that travel feel although technically you are still at home. The warmth and coziness of a hotel room may not be the same as you have at home and the swimming pool together with other facilities may not be present at home as well. Just do something different. Change the norm and book a different accommodation. Enjoy the difference. Feels great.
Do something new – Maybe you have been to all the tourist sites in your town or visited all the fun places. You can still tour your hometown by doing other new things. Visit the chief’s palace, go to an indigenous market or even go ask about that old tree. Take some pictures, learn something you don’t already know or even be adventurous by finding out something that no one else knows. Have you seen the end of the forest? DO you know how many different animals are there? Do you know what’s on top of that mountain? Or even the story of that river that flows through your town? You can also visit the very old folks in your hometown and listen to age old stories. They are very beneficial and will make you feel like a tourist.
Take something memorable back with you – Apart from pictures, there are actually a lot you can take back with you if you came back to your hometown from the city or another town where you are schooling or working. Every tourist ensures that he takes home a souvenir, paraphernalia or a little piece of the country or town he/she visited. Just get some earthenware, ceramic bowls or mugs, sea shells, carvings, beads, calabashes etc. Anything that reminds you of that particular visit. Anytime you look at that thing, great memories of your tour should come rushing down to you.
Note this! You can tour in your own hometown. It’s just the way you go about it that differentiates the ordinary person from a tourist. You may live in a place for decades and not fully know about it’s history or visit certain important places. Break the shackles and tour! Enjoy the amazing experience that comes with it. It is only when you have mastered your surroundings that you can go out there to explore other places.
Author : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel