Have you ever been a victim “Hometown Fatigue (HTF)?”
That feeling when your favorite spots no longer excite you or inspire the perfect night out. When your local barista knows every detail of your order, even when you try to switch things up. The depressing realization that you’d rather melt into your own couch than spend another happy hour at the corner bar.
Yes, we may have made this term up, but that doesn’t make HTF any less real. Monotonous routines and habits can all lead to hometown exhaustion and have you searching for the first ticket out. Believe us, we’ve been there and we’re here to help. Before you break your lease and uproot your life, we encourage you to read our tips on how to reinvigorate your love of the place you call home. Who knows, you may even remember why you moved there in the first place (or stayed, if you never left).
1) Catch a Ride to a New Neighborhood
The easiest way to avoid HTF is to ensure you never get too comfortable. If your friends know exactly where to find you after work, or your neighbors know your jogging route as well as you do, then it may be time to switch things up. Our suggestion? Hire a Lyft and ride to an entirely new part of town. By leaving your car or bike at home, you’re less likely to go somewhere familiar or turnaround if you get too far away. Plus, everyone knows that the best way to explore a new place is on foot!
Once you arrive, start exploring with no direction in mind. Maybe head to the nearest park and watch the locals hang out in their own part of town. Or, if you’re brave enough, stop a stranger and ask for the best place to get a cup of coffee or grab a bite to eat. If you’re a fan of beer or wine, head to the closest winery or brewery and meet new friends with help from an easy ice-breaker. Try to avoid using Google and simply go where your feet (or friendly strangers) take you.
Even if you start by simply switching up your jogging route, or walking your dog in the opposite direction, this change of scenery can inspire you to look at your own block in a new way. Just be sure that this change of pace pushes your comfort zone and gets you into a new part of town that is entirely unknown to you.
2) Take Advantage of Events and Classes
If you live in a city, then you’ll know there are at least 10 events happening at any time of day. We suggest researching some events or classes (fitness or otherwise) in areas outside of your own neighborhood and picking one or two to attend. A great way to get started is by checking out a new coffee shop and reading the event flyers posted on their community boards. We challenge you to find events hosted in theaters you’ve never heard of, restaurants you’ve never tried, and neighborhoods you’ve never even considered exploring. The less familiar – the better!
If you’re living the small-town lifestyle, then the decision is made for you! As soon as you learn of an event happening in your town, commit to attending and immersing yourself in the opportunity. Even if the event is not “up your alley,” simply attending may allow you to meet new friends, or discover new interests that encourage you to view your small and (seemingly) boring town in a new light.
3) Let the Internet Be Your Guide
When in doubt, use your smartphone as your hometown tour guide. Discover new restaurants or bars with the help of verified reviews on Google or Yelp. We challenge you to be choosy by setting filters that help you explore new locations. Be bold and expand that mileage radius – you’ve got this!
If you’re less trusting of strangers’ reviews, then crowdsource some new ideas from your closest friends. Chances are, people in your network have found hidden gems in your town that you’ve never even heard of. Poll your social networks and ask for date night suggestions, best cafes from which to work, or fun biking routes across town. You’ll explore confidently knowing you can trust their ideas and discover new places that the people you love, already love. It’s a win-win and the perfect way to broaden your horizons without getting too far outside of your comfort zone.
Hometown fatigue can happen to the best of us, even when we least expect it. Your love for your city or town can ebb and flow easily and you’ll probably find yourself dreaming of new locations often. Luckily, our tips can help you avoid the long-term effects of HTF and save you from the stress and expenses of relocation. You may even find yourself having fun in your own backyard!
If you give any of these exploration suggestions a try, we’d love to know! Share your experiences on social media and use the hashtag #amenifyexplores. We’d love to see how you fell back in love with your hometown!