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Why Travel Local

This August, I spent a few days camping right outside Olympic National Park. We’d spend dawn to dusk exploring the park as much as possible. One night, we returned so late that we were even locked out of our campground!

On our last night, we made sure to come back early enough so we’d have time to do the typical camping thing. You know, grilling, campfire, s’mores. The perfect end to our trip.

Photo by kewl via Flikr

As we prepped the fire, I started talking to our camping neighbors. It turned out that despite living in Washington State their whole lives they’d never made it into the spectacular national park… even though they were a mere 30 min drive from the gates as we spoke.

I know it’s beautiful out there, but we just haven’t made time to go out to see it…

And, thus, Local Travel Month was born!

This one offhand comment got me thinking how so many people consider “travel” to be this lofty goal, something that’s constantly desired yet only done once or twice a year (and that’s if they’re lucky). Factors like shrinking vacation days, working around kid’s school vacations and, well, life can get in the way of people realizing their travel dreams. But so many people forget that you don’t have to go far to have a really worthwhile travel experience.

And, I’m guilty of this thinking, too.

Even though I live a stone’s throw away from some of the East Coast’s most amazing sights, I often end up wasting my weekends away on the couch, blogging about travel and thinking about all the places I dream of going to. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (lazy couch days can be the best!), but for those times when the travel bug strikes, I’m realizing that there’s a lot that can be done over a weekend, too. You just have to think local.

Next week, I’ll post some tips on how to find the best local travel opportunities near you. And, in the meantime, stay tuned here for all of my local travel adventures. (And follow along with #TravelLocal on Twitter and Instagram, too!)

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6 Responses to Why Travel Local

  1. Holiday Addict October 11, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Love your post! I’m really into the idea of travelling local and recently wrote something about exploring your own city.
    Look forward to reading about your local travel adventures!

    • Chris October 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Thank you! It’s been a fun experiment- have done more than I could imagine and we’re only halfway through the month!

  2. Nomadic Samuel October 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    I think this is a wonderful initiative. So many travellers feel they have to fly off to far away places half way around the world to experience something worthwhile when in fact treasures await just around the corner.

    • Chris October 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Thank you! I’m really glad that you’re liking the initiative. I really hope others travelers will get inspired and look locally for some ideas!

  3. Pretraveller October 14, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Great article!! I have just been going through this thinking process myself. So many people feel you need to go far away to really travel, but what you really need is a travelling spirit, where you make the most of the place you are in at the time.

    We recently completed living in Sydney for five years, and if I look back I feel happy that over many weekend excursions we throughly explored the local area. We are currently living in Brisbane and we are again trying to regularly explore the local area. And having the odd day off on the couch…

    • Chris October 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      5 years in Sydney! That sounds amazing… I loved my brief visit there. Enjoy your local travels around Brisbane 🙂

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