Mumbai,  Travel Tips

Why would you like to be a tourist in your own city?

As I mentioned in one of the previous posts, sometimes I travel much less than I would like to. At such times, playing a tourist in your own city is an easy way out.

Between the trips, it’s important for me to keep the “itchy feet” state of mind alive. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep the fire burning when you have to deal with the routine of work and daily life as a busy parent of four.

For the last 12 years, I’ve been fortunate to call Mumbai my hometown, and the maximum city has never failed to give me a helping hand when I desperately needed a crucial dose of wanderlust. Perhaps you’d like to try what it’s like to be a tourist in your own city, too? Let’s discuss the benefits of this kind of “travel” in more detail.

Why would you like to be a tourist in your own city?

Well, there is more than one reason why you would find it enjoyable to discover your town when traveling somewhere further is not an option.

You’ll get all the benefits of a holiday without leaving your city

When playing a tourist in your own city, you don’t have to deal with airline delays, endless security lines, and jet lags. You don’t have to pay enormous amounts merely for being transported to another city or county. At the same time, you have your hometown’s iconic landmarks you haven’t visited for many years (or ever), and plenty of lesser known local places to provide you with the same mood-boosting effects of long-distance travel.

I always enjoy the vibrant atmosphere near Mumbai’s most prominent landmarks like the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Marine Drive, Flora fountain, Elephanta caves, and so on. It’s also fun to explore some of the offbeat places like Sewri Christian cemetery.

Unexpected findings – a bit of London in the middle of a busy street in Mumbai 🙂
Visiting the city aquarium? Why not?
In the Elephanta caves

You’ll see your hometown in a new light

Whether you’d like to explore your hometown in large or focus on a particular neighborhood, it will take you to streets and corners you’ve never been before. Losing yourself amidst the streets you’ve never seen and discovering new and interesting things will make you look at your home town with new eyes.

When I particularly strapped for time, I just go a few blocks away from my apartment complex in a standard residential area and take pictures of flowering plants on the way, if nothing else. Fortunately, there is always an abundance of plants in a tropical country like India.

Be a tourist in your own city - wandering around Mumbai
Just looking around in my own neighborhood

And there is always a way to be a tourist in your own city and stay curious between your trips. We tend to take what we have for granted and ignore the beautiful things that are right in front of our eyes. I often have to pull myself out of such a mindset when trying to be a tourist in my own city.

You’ll meet new people

Even a hardcore introvert like me doesn’t shy away from an occasional opportunity of talking to strangers when trying to explore my hometown. Usually I don’t have to try hard to initiate a conversation – people are naturally curious about a person from another country walking around with a camera. Some of these conversations turn out to be really interesting, adding a touristy vibe to the whole experience of exploring your hometown.

You’ll be able to refresh your mind

To a person with a serious case of wanderlust, life without visiting new places can be rather suffocating. Trying to be a tourist in your own city is an easy substitute to travel experiences. It will help you refresh your mind and focus on things you love.

Be a tourist  in your own city
Visiting the Hanging Gardens early in the morning is very refreshing for the mind indeed
Blowing bubbles in the middle of the lake – does it sound refreshing enough? 🙂

If you’re a travel blogger, it will help you keep your blog afloat

Over the years, I’ve been following a great many wonderful travel blogs, and they’ve been my source of travel inspiration since forever. Unfortunately, if a blogger happens to go on a travel hiatus (for various reasons), their blog tends to die away. When there are no trip reports to write, a person is sure they have nothing to offer to their audience.

But what about their own hometown? If a blogger lives in, let’s say, Madrid, it will be as interesting for his or her readers to get updated on Madrid as it would have been on Paris, London, or New Delhi.

If you’re a travel blogger, too, do try to be a tourist in your own city between your trips – sometimes it’s literally the difference between keeping our blog afloat and ditching the whole travel blogging thing whatsoever. I used this trick a number of times. When I couldn’t travel, I kept turning to Mumbai for new content for my blog. This way, I’ve written the following articles:

Virtual Museum Tour in Mumbai – Visiting CSMVS (former Prince of Wales Museum)

Literary Landmarks in Mumbai

Tips on visiting Elephanta Island near Mumbai with kids

A visit to the Sewri Christian Cemetery in Mumbai

Sanjay Gandhi National Park – what to expect?

Heritage Museum in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Mumbai)

The Kanheri caves – a huge complex of rock-cut Buddhist monuments in Mumbai

Have I convinced you to see what it’s like to be a tourist in your own city? Have you already tried? Perhaps you even have some tips on how to pretend to be a tourist in your hometown? Do let me know in the comment section below.

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Be a tourist in your own city - why should you try it

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