Teaching abroad can be a stressful endeavor but the best way to counteract that stress is to travel and see the sights that are offered to you. Some people like to take vacations to neighboring countries or provinces but your great escape doesn’t always have to been expensive. You can find fun and adventurous places in your own community! Not only will these gems give you a glimpse into your local city’s history, it will also help you appreciate the culture of the locals. These spots can range from mountain paths and national parks to inner city temples and museums. Finding these spots may be rough but there are some steps you can take to help you find the perfect downtime entertainment close to you.
Since we live in digital age where there’s an abundant of information available at the tips of our fingers it’s not hard to realize that the internet could be your best friend in this search. Doing a quick search of the town your living in will give you some key places and ideas of what to look for in your city. If you city is known for a certain kind of architectural structure then you can probably count on there being some old, famous buildings that people view as a tourist attraction.
Does your city have a certain kind of tree, or plant, that is native to that region? Then there is probably a national park that encases some of the oldest versions of that beautiful greenery. Doing research on your new home will help familiarize yourself to the city but will also help to keep an eye out for some leisure and sightseeing opportunities that it has to offer.
During our time abroad we create two new groups of friends: other foreign friends from around the Western speaking world and local friends who we’ve met on the streets of our city.
These local friends are usually people wanting to practice, or willing to learn, our language in order to get to know us and our cultural. These friends are one in a million! Not only can they direct you to the best food spots in the city but they can also tell you about the local’s favorite leisure spots that might have been left out of the tourists guides online.
Let Your Students Become the Teacher
Sometimes making local friends can take time and a lot of our time can be solely devoted to our students and our teaching. This is not a bad thing and can also be useful in the long run. Depending on the age of the students, you can ask them what some fun things are to do around the city. You can even make it into a lesson where they have to explain to a foreigner (you!) the best attractions, museums, parks, or sights in their home city and why they should go there. You’ll get a great background of all the places they suggest as well as recommendations on where to spend your next free weekend and they’ll get a great English lesson out of it.
Get Out and Explore!
Coming to your new city doesn’t have to be your only adventure and saving up for a trip to another country may be expensive, regardless of how close you are to it.
Using these ideas to help find those tucked away spots will help build a relationship with the locals, your students, and with your adventurous self. Plus, finding local areas to explore will be the best decision because it allows you to appreciate the beauty that is in your own backyard.