Since I moved to Belgium, one of my eternal complaints has been how boring life is here. It is a fact that I come from cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro to live in (what for me is) a small town. I am not even going to start describing the differences (but if you want to know how things went for me, make sure you download my free ebook Living Your Dream). About a week ago however, a friend of mine shared a link on Facebook that got me thinking.
The article was called 28 Magical Paths Begging To Be Walked. Of course that the words “magical” and “path” caught my attention and I had to check it out. To my surprise, the list started with a forest in… Belgium! How was it possible?!? Such a beautiful place exists, it is close to my door but I had never even heard about it. Crazy, isn’t it?
How many times we are dreaming about expensive trips to other continents, wishing all the time we were somewhere else, or even traveling all around the globe; and at the end of our journey, discovering that there were treasures right beside us that we had ignored.
I could use the fact that I am a foreigner as an excuse for thinking the way I did, the truth however is that many of us are strangers in our own backyards ‘just-because’. Let’s be sincere: when was the last time you visited a new place? It can be a restaurant, a park or some shop outside downtown. Sometimes, time constraints limit us to the same good-and-old places because we cannot afford adventuring ourselves to the unknown. Still, it is an exercise we all should invest time in every once in awhile.
So in this not-fitness related Tip Tuesday blog, I want to share my 5 tips on how to start discovering hidden treasures under your own pillow!
1. Check local publications
Even if you are not that interested in the articles, regional newspapers and pamphlets generally come accompanied by ads of local businesses and events. It does not hurt to check them out some times. One never knows when the next “place to be” will open doors in the area.
2. Talk to people
I have to assume that I am not that involved in social activities due to my other commitments (work, training, blogging, social media and chores). Still, we come across people all the time. By simply asking ‘where have you been?’, you are giving the person an opportunity to share their findings with you. Just listen and absorb.
3. Do some research
I am a forest/mountain person. I do love going to the beach, but it is a recent passion discovered after the long winter months in Europe. For this weekend, I simply did a search for ‘natuurgebied Vlanderen’ (nature Flanders) and I already discovered fantastic places to go, like the Neigembos I visited last Saturday.
4. Trial and error
It is not because a place is new and everybody is talking about that it is good. Of even, it might be great, but just not your cup of tea. The important however is that giving it a try. Unless you taste things your own, you will never know how good they are (or not) for you. Do not let setbacks stop you from experimenting again.
5. Open your mind
If you keep on looking for the same things, you may miss the opportunity of the new. We all have our life favorite places to be however, there is a whole world of adventures for all tastes, including in our own backyards. Do not miss any opportunity!
Have you ever ‘discovered’ a new place that you did not know of in your area? Do you actively look for new spots or do you simply let them happen? What are your own tips for people who want to get to know their town better?
Even though it is quite off-topic, I am extremely happy to announce that I am a new Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador! It is an honor to join other active girls out there!
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Picture credits: Debbie Rodrigues (me!)