Tuesday, April 7, 2009

choose your own adventure!

oh the joy of a little adventure. a new city to explore. a dearest friend to visit. long to do lists & piles of work momentarily exchanged for guide books to flip thru & wonderful long days where the worry is: where to go next? .... and i feel so very very lucky!

so here's today's question:

when you visit somewhere new.. a new city.. and new space.. a new-to-you place... what's on your shortlist of how you shape your exploring? how do you choose your adventure?

i'm interested to hear... do you love to check out the local markets? visit famous sites? find the *unbeaten track*, do some shopping?

so i compiled my usual * exploration to do list.* .... here's my little compilation of what i love to do in a new place.

in no particular order...
how i love to find inspiration / explore a new place!
(the kids-@-home version!)

  • visit the galleries, museums & architecture of the space.
  • explore the green wonders of the venue. (i'm very drawn to any shorelines a place might have, i must say!)
  • delight in the local cuisines
  • visit the sacred / spiritual spaces of a place.
  • stroll around and take photos of inspiring light, moving angles, colours & patterns that are brilliantly new (or wonderfully familiar) to me.
how about you? i'd love to hear your top 5 favourite things to do in a new place. how do you love to explore? what are you exploring these days?

and happy exploring, close or far from home today.
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  1. A few years ago while walking around Chicago, I looked up and I re-discovered a city that I had long loved. There were so many amazing architectural details that I hadn't seen, so many vantage points I hadn't paid attention to. That changed my thinking some, and on my next trip instead of walking the same path I've always walked, I decided to alter my path by a block and discovered a great plaza with a small but lovely fountain and some sculpture I hadn't yet seen. So while the opportunity to explore new cities doesn't come to me very often, if I remember to look up and walk over, I can make my familiar places new again.

  2. We do see the famous sites because it's almost an obligation but for us, that's not where the adventure is. We love walking, walking walking everywhere. Getting lost and asking locals for directions and restaurant recommendations.

    Grocery shopping with the kids has been one thing that we have grown to love - finding the familiar and trying the unfamiliar while learning new vocabulary and figuring out exchange rates.

  3. - Eat! I love experiencing a place through its food!
    - Go browsing/shopping (preferably in a local market.) eg- One of my favorite parts of my recent trip to Vancouver was China Town!
    - walk around and explore!
    - find a cozy place to relax!
    - take in some outdoors time- in whatever the area has to offer!

  4. good question! i hadn't really thought about it like this, so it should be fun.

    i love to explore. not, go to the mall explore, but walk the real streets and neighbourhoods of an area. (nyc being my fave!) eat in smaller offbeat places... try and really get to know the place you're in, you know?

    so my top 5 list include:
    a) book a hotel in a district I can walk to and from any 'things' I want to do. (i tend to research)
    b) don't preplan meals. rely on the locals to tell you where to go to eat, so you can just wing it!
    c) drink coffee on the street, while walking around in the morning & read a local newspaper.
    d) buy myself a local souvenir from my trip; i like to bring back clothing or shoes i can't get locally or local artwork.
    e) see if there is anyone launching or signing a book (newspaper)- i got michael moore to sign my book in NYC that way!

    wow. so fun! and long... ;P

  5. thanks so much for all of the funfun responses! i love it!

  6. For the last 12 (yikes) years, it's been trying to see through the eyes of a child. What would my kids find interesting? What would be a new experience for them? What would they not be able to experience on home turf? This usually includes wonders of nature, unusual museums and landmarks, and local cuisine.

  7. Food of course! Whether in funky restaurants or browsing through markets and big grocery stores, Yum!!
    I do love crafts shops, galleries and so on.. I am from a teeny weenie town, anything bigger is an excitement of it's own!

  8. I like to pick up the local entertainment paper and see what's happening, sometimes you can come across some interesting unusual events, lectures maybe. I also like to read the local paper to get a sense of what people in that place are talking about...it can also be a source for new discoveries. And I like to look at bulletin boards like at a libray or grocery store. Now that I'm into cycling, I'd look into cycling clubs...would be fun to go for a ride in a new place with the locals. And of course it would be neat to join the local 'stitch & bitch' meet up...more opportunity to meet the locals.

  9. First, it's a place of interest, like a long time dream or something that you feel is close to your heart. Must definitely try the local cuisines after all there's so much culture to learn from the dishes and palate taste.


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!