Love Every City
“Simplicity is a beautiful gift. A gift of freedom from unhealthy attachments, unrealistic expectations, and unnecessary burdens.”Richard Bakare
50+ flights, 100,000+ miles, 100’s hotel nights, & 12+ cities.
Turin (Italy), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), San Francisco (California), Detroit (Michigan), and many more. That was my year in 2019. I was away from home over 60% of the time. In the past, all of this would have drove me crazy and feeling isolated. However, I went into the year with a better plan and perspective, than I had in the years prior. I was determined to bring a bit of “home” with me on every trip. By this method, I have found something to enjoy in every city.
Most cities do not have a New York length laundry list of “Must Do” attractions. That is not a failing of any particular metropolis but something that requires more of us to see the beauty in it. A sort of mystery needing to be solved. The convenient tourist list of to-dos is the easy way of seeing a city. It is “Insta-worthy,” it is lazy, it may even not be for you. During my trips in 2019, I learned not to be lazy about visiting new places, and in turn how to uncover hidden gems everywhere.
Love every city, is the title of this post, but what I am really evoking is mindfulness to embrace in every destination what you love about your own town and self. You have to go out into the world truly knowing yourself. What is your tribe? Find them where you go, and you have found a place to belong. Your tribe is not just about social groups. Ask yourself, “who am I, what are my interest, what would I be doing at home right now?“
Asking these questions will help you come up with your own “Must Do” list for every city. No matter where you are. This approach has completely changed the way I travel. Drop me any where in the world, and I can come back with a list of great things to see and do. Because what I do first is find a way to live my life wherever I am.
So what do I do to find my “place” in every borough? I look for the nearest yoga studio, walk the halls of the local museums, drink coffee at the top coffee shops, run along the scenic running routes, hang out at a bustling brewery, watching one of my favorite teams if they are in town, or searching out the locals only dining spots. These are the things I hunt for in every city I go to. I also do a couple of “hacks” like, bring my own yoga mat, rearrange the furniture in the hotel room, rent a bike to cycle around, and read in parks.
I shared my idea on simplicity at the beginning because this travel approach is all about essentialism. Even without travel, the idea of rooting experiences in the qualities of the self is important. We should not take on the burdens, expectations, and attachments of others when seeking out our own adventures. Below are some To Do Lists I follow and compiled during my trips in 2019. I hope they may help you build your own, but only if our values align.