This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #Myvitaminwater #vwlabelcontest #CollectiveBias
When thinking of travel, I’m willing to bet where your mind goes to. Tropical beaches of which you escape to via plane? Destinations several states away and several months of saving needed? Did I hit the nail on the head? If I didn’t either you’re lying or not in need of today’s post.. 😉 The past couple months I’ve found myself completely kicking into savings mode. I have a couple fun things planned for later in the year, so this is very necessary.
But I don’t want to and honestly couldn’t manage, not exploring. The more I explore, it becomes even more apparent to me that travel is not limited to crossing your states borders. In fact, it can be done within! If this idea has you feeling less than convinced, (or curious) allow me to share with you 5 creative ways to explore your hometown that will inspire you. As a creative I’m constantly working to keep myself inspired through the environment and people I surround myself with. Therefore, it’s my goal today to help you learn how to do this as well. So for all the budget conscious and creatives in need of inspiration, this ones for you!
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Before we dive into my tips on how to explore your hometown, I want to share with you my favorite, refreshing drink for exploring around with. That drink is hands down, vitaminwater zero squeezed lemonade. It’s refreshing and I love that I can enjoy a flavored water with no sugar. Not to mention all the vitamins and electrolytes it replenishes back into your system so you can keep conquering more ground and exploring! They’re also very easy to find. I bought my vitaminwater at Target in the drink aisle.
What’s really exciting too, is that vitaminwater is currently running a contest called “Label Me a Winner.” It’s very simple to enter and the prizes are pretty amazing! So here’s how it goes: You visit their website, choose your favorite flavor of vitaminwater and come up with a creative new label name. Then, tweet out or post on Instagram what you came up with using the “#vwlabelcontest” hashtag. Easy enough, right?
The contest ends September 2nd and you could win the following:
– 10 grand prize winners will be selected to take a trip for two to a creative hub of their choice for an outside-the-bottle experience. (Chicago, New York or Los Angeles)
– 40 winners will get $500 in cash to fuel their creative desires.
1. Immerse yourself in the local creative scene & businesses
One great way to experience your hometown in a whole new light, is to explore your local creative scene. When I say local “creative scene,” I’m talking about innovative local entrepreneurs, photographers and bloggers in your area. Have you ever attempted to connect with them? If not, I can tell you that you’re definitely missing out on a lot of inspiration.
So here’s exactly what you should do: Crack open your laptop and go on a hunt to find these inspiring individuals! To begin your search, I suggest starting with Instagram. You can find just about anyone there these days. Next, surf through other blogs and websites to discover creative local businesses you’ve never heard of before. These could be interesting restaurants, coffee shops, boutique style shops, etc.
Once you’ve begun the search, I guarantee you’ll connect with some inspiring businesses and creatives in your area. This has been one of my most favorite ways to rediscover where I grew up! In fact, I’ve made it apart of my mission to help other locals in Pittsburgh discover the many great creative businesses it has to offer. If you’re a local, check that out here.
2. Look for local parks and interesting natural attractions
I know what you may be thinking… Parks, really? Hear me out for a moment, you’ll be surprised what more I have to say about this subject! When I say parks, I’m not talking about your typical community park with soccer fields and a playground for kids to enjoy. Instead, I urge you to find out what natural wonders your hometown has to offer! Think waterfalls, swimming holes, mountains, hiking! The best part? These beautiful spots are free to enjoy.
And when you are in search of these natural wonders, don’t limit yourself to what is within a half an hour away because theres a good chance there will be nothing! I suggest broadening your search to anything within 2 hours away. This gives you a nice day trip and will definitely satisfy your traveling needs.
3. Never leave your house/apartment without a camera
I realize not everyone is a photographer but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something worth dabbling in! If you happen to be a photographer or blogger, than this is a rule you may likely already follow. And if you’re not, what are you doing? 😀 lol Just kidding, but really though.. I love bringing around either my camera or phone so that I can always capture a good photo moment when I come across it. I find that the more I take photos of my surroundings, the more they inspire me.
Every time I take a photo of a store, cool corner in town or park in my hometown that turns out beautiful, it only makes me grow more fonder of my surroundings. This is why whether or not you currently love photography, I highly suggest you snap a creative photo every now and again of your hometown. Looking back on your collection of photos, it’ll be nearly impossible not to feel more inspired by where you live. And that my friends, doesn’t require leaving the state in which you call home!
4. Stay up to date with new restaurants & businesses opening
This tip is probably a no brainer but when was the last time you payed attention to what new businesses where opening up in your area? And why yes, I am that crazy girl who looks out the window when I notice a new restaurant opening as I drive by.. 😉 Buuut if you want to keep the crazy in check, there’s a much easier way to scope things out. THE INTERNET. I know, ground breaking stuff I’m sharing with you right now.
So if the local dinner you frequent isn’t quite doing it for you these days, you may want to look up what’s new in your hometown. Everybody’s town is different and varies in size so I know that new businesses are likely not opening up every week but just do me a favor and stay in the know. As I said in my tip regarding parks, don’t be afraid to venture out and try a new restaurant an hour away either. If there’s enough interesting places to scope out in the area, you could make a day out of it!
5. Meet new people who are apart of different communities
A great way to mix things up and cause a resurgence in your creativity, can include meeting new people! You never know what you could learn or what someone could say that sparks a little inner creativity within. Beyond that, it’s incredibly beneficial to meet new people and create new experiences with them. Maybe they know about a secret spot they enjoy around town that’s not commonly talked about. Or, sigh, they know about an undiscovered business that’s still hidden due to their unwillingness to put themselves on the internet map. Point is, get out there and meet new people in your hometown.
An easy way to do this can be on Instagram! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met through engaging with and sending dm’s to people in my area. If you stumble upon a blogger, photographer or creative entrepreneur that inspires you, don’t be afraid to reach out and tell them that! Side note: you never know truly how much it means to someone to tell them that what they’re doing inspires you. Just be careful and take your time getting to know someone before you reach out and potentially grab a coffee. Another great option is to attend local networking events. There are so many that go on in the Pittsburgh area, I’m sure you can find one too if you do a little digging! Try Instagram and Facebook groups for this.
This year I have experienced a huge shift in perspective. I always viewed travel through conventional eyes and I’m so happy to have made it on the other side to see things much differently. My goal in writing this post is to help you see too, that travel and exploration can be done in your hometown too! Where will you explore in your hometown now that you’ve read my tips? Share this with me, or something helpful you picked up on today. I’m all ears and will be waiting to hear your responses! 🙂