How many of you have ever explored your own city? I did a few months ago. I had been living in upstate New York for about seven years, and not once had I explored Albany, the closest city to me. I finally visited Albany 2 months before I moved away, and I discovered a lot more than I thought I would. In this post, I’ll explain to you why you must explore your local city and tell you what I discovered on my adventure.
When you think about New York, you tend to think of New York City -- Manhattan to be precise -- but Albany is the state’s capital. I was honestly not expecting much from this city, since it’s not that big and there aren’t too many points of interest (that’s what I thought, at least). I was going into this adventure blind, and I had no idea what there was to see. This is actually my preferred way of exploring a new place for the first time. When you don’t have a plan, you get to live in the moment and take everything in better. You don't have to worry about getting places in a specific time-frame.
So what did I find on my adventure? Honestly, it took my breath away. We were walking and I saw what looked like a giant concrete egg about 20 stories tall, so we headed toward it. It turns out it’s called “The Egg,” and it’s a theater. We left The Egg and came across a huge open plaza, and I mean huge. It had an enormous reflective pool in the center of it, and surrounding it, there were government buildings and art installations galore. The mix of styles was incredible. On one side there was a building that looked like it came from China; alongside this there were also buildings that looked like they were built by the Soviets, clear cut square and made of concrete. Opposite these buildings there was a government building that looked like a European palace. I couldn’t comprehend all that was going on. We spent two hours just walking around this plaza photographing everything from every possible angle. It took seven years for me to discover that something so amazing was so close.
Now, how can you find cool places where you live? There are quite a few ways. You could just fly by the seat of your pants and go with the flow, with no plan. This is my favorite way to do it because there is no pressure. Just walk around, and if you see a place you want to go, go there. If you want to have a little bit more of a plan, Google can be your best friend. Usually you can type in “Best places in (insert your city),” and Google will already know what to recommend. What I like to do is head to Instagram and use its location features. I search a city in the locations search bar and see where people are posting pictures and what people are finding interesting. I often use this as a starting point for my adventures.
Many times people think you need to travel across the world to find cool and unique places, but I promise you that you can find just what you’re looking for a lot closer to home.
I’d like to challenge you to go out into your own city, town, or village and explore. I guarantee you that there is some place you have never seen, something new for you to discover.
If you accept this challenge, tag me on Instagram @therealtomkai, or hit the buttons which are located at the bottom of every page. I want to see what fun adventures you get up to and what cool things you find. Happy travels!
Love yourself. Love others. Love the earth.