During my month in Valencia, I would get out every single day and explore somewhere new in the city. It could be an art museum, a park, a pretty neighbourhood, a restaurant, a bar... And I did that every. single. day. I think I stayed at home only once because I had to work on my university project,  and let's be honest, the weather was shitty that day too.

But I wanted to make the most out of my stay there and really get to know the city and the locals. I wanted to see it all: the pretty, the good, the bad, the crazy. Why? Because you never know if you're going to go back there again. So it's better not to have regrets and visit as much as you can while you're there.

After a few weeks of non-stop exploring, Valencia started to feel like home. I knew the quickest way to get to my favourite local bar, I knew where the cheapest grocery shops were. I knew my way around the city. And I have NO sense of direction (for reference I usually get lost everywhere I go), so it really felt like I had lived there for way more than a month.

But when I got home to France, I realised something. I knew Valencia almost better than my hometown even though I had lived there for twenty years. I never explored my hometown the way I explored Valencia. 

I was so obsessed with exploring the world that I didn't even take the time to explore my own backyard.

How did I realise that? Once I came back home, I got bored. Like so so bored. Of course I went out with friends and family - and don't get me wrong, it was super nice to see them again - but I had no plans of visiting a new museum or park.

Back to the old routine.

I missed searching for new places to see and new restaurants to try out. I missed putting the map on the coffee table in the evening and ask my roommate "alright, what are we doing tomorrow? Let's visit this, oh and that too!"

But then, I thought... What's keeping me from doing that in my hometown too? There are so many places I haven't seen yet. So come on, get out and explore!

4 reasons why you should explore your own backyard

Be a tourist in your own town or city, or another one nearby. Try exploring it like you would explore a new city abroad. If you don't have the time or money to travel internationally, try travelling closer to home. It's a great way to keep your wanderlust alive and to know even more about where you live!

#1 There are so many places you haven't seen yet

By thoroughly exploring your backyard, you will know it like the back of your hand and no one should know it better than you. When visiting your city, tourists might want to do all the touristy things - and that's not a bad thing, whenever I'm in a new city the first thing I want to do is to visit the must-see attractions too.

But as locals, I believe we should dig a little deeper. You want to know where the hidden gems and unique places are: the nice local cafĂ©, the hike with the best view, and the beautiful underrated beach. 

#2 It's cheap

You don't need to spend hundreds or even thousands of money to explore the area you live in. Indeed, you don't have to book planes or trains and you don't necessarily have to book a hotel as you can just go and explore a new place or city for the day. 

#3 Less packing & less planning 

Even if you're going away for a weekend, you will only need a small bag. No need to think about how on earth you're going to fit all of your clothes in your suitcase! Exploring your backyard saves you plenty of time (and headaches) as well because you don't really have to plan everything beforehand. You can literally decide to visit a new city the night before! So that means you can be more flexible with your trip dates too. Did something come up at the last minute when you wanted to go to that new place this weekend? Then just go next week!

#4 You will be surprised at what you find

I'm 100% sure you will discover places that are as beautiful as places abroad. Your own country or city is different than others for a reason. Keep an open mind, use social media such as Instagram and search for places to visit near you. It can be a new restaurant, a museum you've never heard of, a charming small town, or an activity like going paddle boarding on a beach you've never been before. You might be amazed at what you find in your own backyard!

Everything is interesting. Look closer.

Do you often explore the area you live in? Do you think you should explore your backyard more? I sure do!