While exploring far away places is fun, we can often find interesting places closer to home.
A few years ago I returned to Devon after a winter away, and wondering why I had explored so little of the amazing local places. So embarked many local trips to small seaside towns I'd overlooked before. Exotic places such as Dawlish, Exmouth, Barnstaple, Topsham, Teignmouth, Brixham and Lyme Regis.
I discovered the trail from Exmouth to Dartmoor, several gems of museums (Topsham, Barnstaple, Teignmouth) and many places on the fringes of Exeter I'd never known about. Because I'd never really looked
Quite often we think about our trips to large museums or far away places, exploring other cultures. Which is rewarding it can be expensive, time-consuming and inconvenient.
There are also places and stories all around, of ruins, histories, peoples, legends and more recent events. Normally within easy reach and easy to ignore day to day. You might be surprised what you dig up.
Others will often write off places that may delight you. Think of people who "do" London in a day (or three European captials in a Day!). Or couldn't find something they liked about your favourite local town. Experiences will vary.
So go out and discover them, or let others know of them.
I'm lucky enough to be able to do this again in an old city in Europe. This is a sustained and non-strenuous campaign of walks, museums, art galleries and other opportunities.
Some places I'm saving to visit with others (such as with Serralves with mum in September) as it's always nice to see things through the eyes of others. But I'm easy to make happy when it comes to visiting places and Porto is a good city to explore.
There are also many local towns and spots in Portugal I want to visit, a couple of my favourite experience others don't have much good to say about!
Now that there are less visitors for winter it's a more pleasant experience. I'm mechanically going through a list of museums and art galleries to visit. As often the places I like most are ones I had no preconceptions about.
What are the local treasures you've unearthed in recent years?