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Small ways to expand your horizons

Almost every day, we’re faced with photos, tweets, Facebook ‘check-in’s’ of people jetting off across the other side of the world to go travelling. People who have spent the day in a waterfall, exploring another culture, sky-diving, snorkeling – you name it and you’ve probably seen someone you know on social media doing it. Whether you follow any travel bloggers or not, there’s always posts cropping up about why you should travel, how travel makes you a better person, how to find yourself by travelling and so on. I’m not making fun of people who travel; I think if it’s what you want to do and you have the means to do it then that’s amazing and you should totally go for it. But I am saying that not all of us can, should or want to travel. And that’s okay too.

But I certainly don’t think the only way to make yourself a “better” or “more rounded” person or the only way to “find yourself” is through travelling. The stark reality is that some people can’t afford to travel extensively. Some people can’t afford one holiday a year, let alone 6 months of globe trotting. And some people just don’t crave that lifestyle. I don’t fall on either end of the spectrum, really. I don’t feel a need or desire to travel. I don’t particularly want to go to Thailand (too hot) or Australia (too many spiders). But I do love a holiday, would love to be able to go on more holidays throughout the year. I like home but I don’t get home-sick. I’m kinda floating somewhere in the middle. 

But I do crave knowledge. I crave new things, experiences, feelings and I always want to expand my horizons. But not being one who feels the need to bungee jump, sky dive or do any other scary activity, I tend to look a little smaller. There’s always value in doing something smaller to expand your horizons and here’s a small list of things you can do if, like me, you’re not an adventure junkie.

1. Read books in a genre you don’t normally read
2. Watch foreign films / TV (I’d recommend ‘Dark’ on Netflix – bloody brilliant!)
3. Watch plenty of documentaries about important subjects.
4. Take up a new hobby
5. Cook new recipes from scratch
6. Do a course on a topic that interests you (Coursera do fab free online courses!)
7. Volunteer
8. Practice Yoga and meditation
9. Start a blog!
10. Start a project / create something
11. Visit somewhere local that you’ve never been before
12. Re-decorate a room in your house
13. Talk to people! (E.g a grandparent. Listen to their stories)
14. Write – experiment with different types of writing (stories, poetry, a journal)
15. Play games of different genres
16. Read non-fiction (I’d highly recommend this book)
17. Go for a walk somewhere nice – clear your head and think about what you want

Do you have anything to add to this list? Where do you fall on the spectrum I mentioned earlier? Are you an avid traveler, prefer the comforts of home or somewhere in-between? Which small activities do you do which you feel expand your horizons and knowledge?

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

81 Comments

  1. Mads says:

    I really enjoyed your article and you have some super valid points! But if I’m the even you do want to go to hot and steamy Thailand or spider infested Australia, check out my blog. I am 22, putting my self through college, and work as a nanny! Granted I am one of “those” that is super driven when it comes to travel. But it is certainly doable if you ever decide to jump in the deep end and go on a crazy extensive trip, take it from me! 🙂 but thank you for inspiring me to reconnect when I am home.

  2. Wonderful ideas.

  3. I always feel so much fomo when I see people’s travel pictures. I think it’s a great idea to be a tourist in your own city – go and do those things that you wouldn’t normally do like go to the touristy places! It makes for a totally different experience of your city!

    1. Absolutely – doesn’t even have to be a city either!

  4. Totally agree with you! I love travelling but I can’t afford it most of the time, so it’s sadly just not an option. I hate seeing people on social media act like it’s the only way to gain any life experience and acting like if you don’t travel you’re ignorant. This list proves them completely wrong! Also, thank you for introducing me to Coursera, that’s going to be a new obsession!
    Beth x

    1. Ohhh I HATE those people! xxx

  5. The one thing I definitely have to do is reading books of different genre and the list really helps 😊

    1. Thank you 🙂 xx

      1. 🙂🙂🙂

  6. asiatravels says:

    great ideas

  7. I can’t wait to travel but you are right, you don’t need to travel to find yourself! From blogging I feel like I have grown as a person as I have met so many wonderful people but there are so many ways like you have mentioned that allow you to grow and find yourself!

    Tabitha xx | whattabithaloves.co.uk

    1. Oh same! I think blogging has had SUCH an impact on me in that respect xxx

  8. When I was in high school, I was very close minded mainly because that’s how I my surrounding was growing up and I got really used to that. After starting college, I felt the need to be change my mentality, perspective and like you said expand my horizons 🙂 Since I am in college, I know it’s impossible to take like a 6 month vacation and go travel the world. And even if I had a vacation like that, I am not financially stable to travel. But I do small adventures during the summer with my family. Over the past few years, I tried jet skiing, scuba diving, parasailing, white water rafting.

    For the past year, I found myself trying new things like different cuisines (Indian, Mediterranean, Korean, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Mexican). Eating in a restaurant alone, starting a blog, watching foreign film, documentaries about animals and other cultures, exploring the city where I go to college, taking evening walks, talking with different kinds of people and learning their stories. Recently I started a part time job. In high school, I stayed in a job I despised so much. After I quit that, I didn’t apply for a job scared to interact with other people and worried I won’t like the job. Over the years, I learned it’s impossible to find a job you actually like. I am excited about this job. I could save up some money and start my small adventures.

    Like you said it’s really important to expand our horizon. You get to really learn a lot and mostly learn about yourself even more:). Thank you for your post.

  9. I totally agree with you

  10. I totally agree with you. When I was high school I was very close minded mainly because that’s how my surroundings was growing up and I got really used to that. After staring college three years ago, I felt the need to change my mentality, my perspective, and like you said expand my horizons:) since I was in college, I knew it would impossible to take like a 6 month vacation and go travel the world. And even if had vacation, I am not financially stable to travel. But I do small adventures during the summer like jet skiing, scuba diving, parasailing, white water rafting. Last summer, my family and I went to Florida did all these things. It was the best trip ever. For the past year, I found myself trying new things like trying different cuisines (Indian, Mediterranean, Korean, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Mexican), eating in a restaurant alone, starting a blog, watching foreign films, documentaries about other animals and culture, exploring the city where I go to college, going on evening walks, talking with different kinds of people and learning their stories. You get to really learn a lot and mostly learn about yourself even more.

  11. I’ve been trying to explore some places closer to home recently, whether it’s a park I’ve never walked around before or on my last visit to Liverpool my mum and I avoided the shops for a bit and just walked around the docks admiring the buildings. Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to get a new perspective!

    Francesca x | glutenfreehorizons.com

    1. Totally agree! Glad you’ve found some nice spots closer to home 🙂 xx

  12. I also think that exploring your what’s on your front doorstep is totally underrated.

    Steph x
    http://www.wanderlustpulse.com

    1. Totally underrated! 🙂 xx

  13. I totally agree. Not everyone can afford this! Thanks for sharing some tips x

    1. You’re welcome 🙂 Glad you agree.

  14. I’m going to make a list on my phone as you have inspired me xx

    1. Awh that’s great! 🙂 Cx

  15. I’m trying to expand my horizons by increasing my general knowledge. 🙂

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

    1. Always a good way to do that 🙂

  16. Abigail says:

    I love these ideas. I fall under the category ‘can not afford to travel’ and I do not believe that I need to travel half way around the world to be able to ‘find myself’ or ‘better myself’ but instead do some of the things you mentioned!

    Abigail xo
    http://Www.crochetingblogger.com

    1. Totally agree with you. I probably couldn’t afford to do much travelling even if I wanted to xx

  17. katielauren says:

    I think it’s so good to be reminded that there are alternative ways to discover ourselves and expand our knowledge than the popular travelling option! We definitely get caught up in the glorious lives of others and feel the need to do the same x

    1. Oh totally. Social media makes it impossible for us to be happy with what we’ve got xx

  18. If money was no object, I would be constantly travelling! I love visiting new places and airports are actually my favourite places, but unfortunately, I can’t afford to go as much as I’d love to.. 😔 I love some of the ideas you’ve listed here, especially watching programmes from a different country!

    1. Ah I’m sorry to hear that. I haven’t been in an airport in years but they scare the life out of me haha! xx

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