“My city is so boring. I can’t wait to leave.” — boring people.
It’s not your city that’s boring. It’s you.
Every city has great things to do and I would bet my last dollar that I could find all of the top spots and events in any location over the world. I want to show you how to be a tourist in your own city so that you never get bored again.
People who claim that their city is boring will often do one of the following:
- Sit at home all day and never actually look for things to do in the city that they live in.
- Will never leave the town that they supposedly detest.
Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips on how to be a tourist in your own city so that you can stop boring everyone with your constant complaining and get out there and actually see what the place that you’ve lived in your entire life has to offer.
What can you do in your own city to ensure that you never get bored again?
Book a night in a hotel.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” — Unknown
One particular Friday, while I was living in Australia I finished work at 5:00pm and was literally checked into a hotel for the weekend by 5:15pm. Hello glorious night of luxury minus sitting in traffic or wedged next to someone on a flight for hours on end to get to the destination!
The fact that I arrived in my work uniform from a well-known business within my city, as well as stating the exact same zipcode as the hotel was definitely met with some strange (what the hell is this girl who lives in this city doing here?) looks, but hey I did not care; I was there to be pampered and that was that.
We didn’t even leave the hotel this night; spoiling ourselves on basically everything on the room service menu (totally wouldn’t have been able to afford these things if we had the other pesky costs involved with travelling such as flights and gas).
As an added bonus it turns out the people working at the concierge desk aren’t just a pretty face and actually had some great tips about things to do in our city that we would have never thought of.
Take a tour.
“Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.” — Simon Raven
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – tours are the best!
They do all the work for you (at a super low-cost or sometimes even free) and you reap all of the benefits. Every city has unique tours ranging from the haunted house tour to the bike riding tour. There’s likely a tour based on your interests and mood (you may not want to drink on a Monday morning).
My partner and I love all sports so being in Toronto we decided to do the Rogers Centre Stadium Tour as we planned to attend lots of Baseball games now that we live here.
It was dirt cheap and we couldn’t have been crammed with anymore facts if we tried.
It worked out really great for us because now when attending games we can easily make small talk with the fellow Blue Jays fans sitting beside us rather than being frowned upon as the typical tourists who have no idea about the game but are just there for the Instagram photos.
Other great tour options that we have done include free walking tours, food tours and even pub crawls.
Constantly search online for events and things to do to keep the city interesting.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” — Helen Keller
We all have the Internet at our fingertips so there really is no excuse for sitting at home burning a hole in the couch with nothing to do as another weekend passes you by.
I’m constantly searching online for, “Things to do in Toronto this weekend.”
If you live in a very seasonal city like Toronto, don’t fear the cold weather; I found some of the coolest events and attractions during the winter months through online searches such as completely frozen waterfalls and Ice Fishing in the middle of a frozen lake.
Friendly note: Always insure that you (or your partner in my case) correctly check the dates mentioned on these sites as you would be really mad at your partner if they dragged you to an event that was actually on the following evening (you would be really annoyed if you had worked twelve hours that day).
Challenge yourself to go somewhere different every weekend.
“The less routine the more life.” — Amos Bronson Alcott
Recently I’ve set myself and my partner a little challenge to go somewhere different in Toronto every weekend.
Whether it’s a new coffee shop or even walking through a new park on a Sunday afternoon, I’m really trying to avoid falling into the trap of always going to the same places that we are all so familiar with doing.
You also sound super cool when you go back to work on Monday and have new places to chat about in comparison to your colleague who stayed home all weekend Netflix and Chilling.
Use a different method of transportation to explore.
“I’m not lost, I’m exploring.” — Jana Stanfield
Recently when we were finally gifted some nice weather in Toronto, my partner and I decided to hire bikes and ride around for the day.
Not only did we look super cool and totally athletic we also got to see many areas that aren’t accessible by car, as well as stop anywhere we liked along the way for a rest (okay it was mainly me who needed the rest, my little legs couldn’t quite keep up with my partner who thinks he’s Lance Armstrong).
Bikes are also way cheaper than cars. We rented ours for less than $10.00 for twenty-four hours. Money saved equals money for well deserved drinks after!
Actually go to the tourist spots that you always look down on.
“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” — Asian proverb
So many people have never actually been to the “overrated tourist spots” in their towns that they are so quick to throw shade at.
When moving to Toronto, we purchased a City Attraction Pass that most major cities have as we wanted to see all of the “must see sites” before we were bogged down into employment and never got around to it.
Within five days we had ticked all of the sites off on the pass and we now laugh at people who have been here for more than five years and have never been to any – Hello boring people!
Show someone from out-of-town around.
“Travelling, it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller.” — Ibn Buttata
While living in Toronto we’ve been spoiled with visitors from Australia, both family and friends.
Most times we have just been a last-minute detour on their trips from USA but I like to think that we were always a priority as they knew just how much of a great Tour Guide that I was.
It really is fun showing other people the sites for a number of reasons:
- You sound like you really know what you’re talking about when in reality you read the entire Toronto section of your Lonely Planet book before they arrived.
- You get to see their reactions to things and compare them to yours. Our friend from Australia was way worse than us at Ice Skating which really stroked our ego.
- You have a ton more photos to plaster over social media to make your friends sitting at their desk jobs who claim they are “too busy” to visit you, jealous.
Are you still blaming your city for your boring life or have you realized that it’s you?
Now is the time to go and look for what is waiting to be found within your city.
Go by yourself or in a group; who cares really as long as you get off the couch and start living your life (finally).
I’m sure that I’ve missed some other great tips for ways to entertain yourself in your cit. Feel free to let me know in the comments!