Many of us, over time, become blind to the wonders that can be found on our doorsteps and in our backyards.
You start to look at your city and its surrounds with a jaded, apathetic eye, and the sights and sounds that make your home turf a joy for others go unnoticed and under-appreciated amid the dull clatter of familiarity. But if you are willing to search, to dig a little deeper, undiscovered treasures may be revealed. All the tools you will ever need for this adventure are right at your fingertips.
Using the Google app on your phone, a quick search of “your city’s top tourist attractions” will yield dozens or even hundreds of results, aggregated by popularity into a single page. From the biggest draw cards for international visitors (such as parks, beaches and other major landmarks) to lesser known locations (world-class restaurants, heritage sites and vineyards), the information is all there, ready to be perused at your convenience, complete with user reviews and all relevant facts.
Forewarned is forearmed; before setting off into these new corners of your city, use the tools at your disposal to prepare, because nothing can kill your well-crafted outdoor plans faster than a bleak bout of weather. Google acts as your spyglass in this instance: with a 10-day weather forecast (simply search “weather in your city”), you’ll be able to spot clouds before they gather on the horizon, ensuring smooth sailing for your tourist activities.
Plan your route
You may think you know your city inside and out, but it is likely you are only familiar with the roads and routes you travel every day. Google Maps is a useful tool for those seeking to venture into unchartered territory. Type in any address and GPS navigation, route planning as well as up-to-date traffic information will guarantee that you’ll always know where you are, where you’re going and how to get back home.
Take a sneak peak
Google Street View takes this even further – gain a sneak peak of where you’re headed before you even leave the house with panoramic, 360 degree views of the most popular places in your city. Scrolling through never-before-visited city streets will put in perspective just how much you’re missing out on when you don’t explore.
Adapted from a press release for IOL