When we make travel plans, we often consider long journeys to other continents. What we often forget is that our home country has a lot to offer that make us feel like wandering around like a tourist too. Since we have been living in our home country for our whole life, we tend to take everything there for granted without really having the urge to explore it further. That is really a pity if you think about it! You would be surprised how amazing it is to discover all the different corners of your native land. Under the motto of “taking a moment to appreciate everything that is right at my doorstep”, I have made a commitment to explore my own country The Netherlands as a real tourist.
To start off, I went to the well-known traditional village of Zaanse Schans. With only 1.5 hour for me to get there, it is far shorter than the 12-hour flight to Hong Kong. This brings me to the first advantage of being tourist in own country which is to relatively travel less and have more time to explore.
Walking through this town was like a historic story revealing itself to me. The many windmills along the dikes, stealing the show on the horizon, bring me back to my country’s history. They mark the importance of the industrial area in 18th and 19th with these windmills producing a variety of products, such as paper and paint. The dikes provide me with a better understanding of their importance in draining lakes and marshes so as to protect the country against floods.
The typical green wooden houses with curled eaves along small streets & bridges let me wandering around and get me feeling inspired. At the same time, they bring along a relaxing atmosphere in which I can really relax.
One day exploring Zaanse Schans was adding another puzzle piece to the total picture I have of my country. Having born and raised in The Netherlands, my life story is closely linked to this country. So by exploring my native land, I am at the same time on a journey of self-discovery.
Having seen new things in Zaanse Schans and gaining a more complete perspective about my birth country, I can take them with me and share them with the people I meet abroad. Talking about going abroad, a greater understanding of my own country’s history helps me to better compare and relate it to other countries. Also, learning the importance of truly understanding my own country and culture puts into perspective the meaning of understanding other countries and cultures. As such it will make my future travels abroad more meaningful.
Being tourist in own country is a great thing to do in your personal life and give it a nice enrichment. Also wandering around and soaking up new experiences without any force, enables you to unwind from your busy professional life.
Traveling at home has turnt into a real addition, so stay tuned for many more stories in which I take you with me as tourist in my native land. Have you ever went exploring your country as if you were a tourist? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time!