By @JBayleyWrites

For many of us, last year’s getaways were limited and, for the most part we were having to get creative with our staycations, in the summer, over Christmas, and in between. As we are once again being asked to stay home, we need things which are uplifting, possibly now more than ever.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

So, after a year of holiday plans getting cancelled left right and centre and Christmas disappointments as 2020 drew to a close, the new year may not be able to promise too many guarantees or bookings however it does give way to new hope.

With this new hope comes a new challenge, learning to enjoy the beauty and character of where you live, the way a tourist or newcomer would, can be transformative for your perception as well as for your mental health.

Daily exercise took on a whole new meaning last year as walks monopolised our time and was often the highlight of many a lockdown day. As this becomes our day-to-day life once again, it also presents us with another chance to slow down and really take a look around. While many of us may have become tired of the familiarity and monotony, if we try to look at this with a different, more positive mindset then, making the best of a bad situation truly is within reach.

Before you rush to open up Netflix or begin preparations for dedicating yourself to the sofa for the foreseeable, this may be the perfect time to take a moment to pause and look around at the beauty of where you are.

While you may not necessarily be surrounded by sandy beaches, rolling hills or an enigmatic urban jungle, and probably not likely to be living amidst all three, there is beauty in every area (though sometimes you may have to look a little harder for it).

When people travel to somewhere new, wherever that may be, tightly packed schedules and tourist information booklets clearly show the yearning many of us have, to try as hard as we possibly can to pack everything in. Long drives to acclaimed tourist spots, which upon arrival are overrun by snaking queues, are believed by many of us, to be worth it in the pursuit of the new and of the different.

Succumb to child-like wonder, gazing at sights through wide eyes, is something many of us have felt when we ourselves have been tourists but who says that same sensation cannot be conjured without the travel?

Maybe you could try googling where you live or thinking of places you would name the must-see sites to someone who had never been before? You may be surprised by the internet’s suggestion of the best spots in town. Either way, there is an opportunity for exploration, no matter where you are. So, enjoy some fresh air with open eyes this lockdown, who knows you might even find yourself a new favourite part of where you live.

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