Every time work and my life get crazy, and those two events seem to happen at the same time, I think about quitting my job to pursuit my dreams of travelling the world. Not just travelling the world, no I would like to travel the world by car, since nothing beats a good old fashioned road trip.
I know this can not be reality for me, at least not at this stage of my life and probably it will never be. Why not? Well there is two of us and although we both love to travel, we don’t have the exact same dreams. Besides that, my dreams are in the spur of the moment, I would not give up my work and comfortable life at times when my work and life are in balance. In fact during our travels I am always the first one who wants to go back home, back to our own bed, shower and comfort zone. So guess I am not a world traveller after all.
It took me a while to realise that travel can start in your own backyard, in fact I had to move from Europe to Australia, to realise that there is more in life than work and obligations. After this big move I also realised that exploring new things not always need to cost lots of time and money. We try to see as much as possible in our own country and to be honest since Australia is such a large country it means in our own state Victoria. Below are 5 of our travel tips to start enjoying your own country.
Visit a tourist information point
These tourist information places are gold! In Australia the majority of tourist information centres are operated by volunteers who love their area and who want to share their information with you. Walk into these centres even if it is in your own city and ask them for any recommendations. They will inform you about new exhibitions will point you towards a free walking tour and many more things, they will also provide you with free maps and often discount coupons for tourist attractions.
Visit the tourist hotspots in your own capital city
The tourist hotspots are hotspots for a reason, and why are so many tourist raving about Melbourne? Well there is only one way to find out and do exactly what thousands of tourists do and visit those highlights. We have visited many of these tourist spots in Melbourne and we love it, it gave us an insight into the city which we would otherwise not have, besides we know now better were to send visiting friends and family.
Use your local news paper
Use your local news paper to see if there are any events on. We have taken family members from oversees to a local country fair, where they could see sheepdog shows, pig racing, country women’s baking competitions and strong guys in wood chopping and chainsaw competitions. This was certainly not something you would see in the Netherlands and our family loved it and so did we.
Go away for a (long) weekend
There are many things to see within a few hours of were we live and often we forget about this or we simply pass these on our travels to other destinations. It is funny how many people I do speak at my workplace in Melbourne who haven not been on the Great Ocean Road for years or even worse, some can not remember it since they did do this when they were little children. Ask your self the question: Do you live within a few hours of some landmark that tourist visit but you’ve never actually been there yourself? If so, take a weekend trip and visit this landmark!
Get in the car and drive
OK I must admit this is a bit of an obsession for me. I get an itch after a few weeks when we have not been able to travel or do anything else than work, household chores, or other “important” stuff. This itch is to get in the car and just follow a road which is not familiar, enjoy the scenery, after 1 or 2 hours we get out of the car for a cup of coffee or lunch in a local café. We ask the staff members of that café if there is anything they can recommend us to do or visit in the area, or sometimes we use our mobiles to find any recommendations on websites such as TripAdvisor. Alternatively we simply get back into our car and take a different route home, and who knows what comes across our path.
What are your recommendations to travel within your own country or state?