Travelling should not be the whole shebang that we have made it to be. As much as we all want to go to the Maldives, Bali, and the Caribbean Seas, we can also travel simply to the places closest to our homes and pockets.

What do I mean when I mention your backyard as a travel destination? Sometimes, we need more time, money, or even a chance to go too far away from where we are based. This fact, however, should encourage you to discover and explore different places and spots that might even be hidden gems. Here is a short how-to guide on finding and experiencing destinations in your backyard:

1. Coffee Shops/Restaurants/Chill Spaces

As a self-professed introvert (yes, I’m one of those), I relish the opportunity to discover new, local haunts. The thrill of stumbling upon a cosy coffee shop or a quaint restaurant within walking distance is unmatched. These hidden gems, with their intimate settings, soulful music, and the promise of anonymity, are my sanctuary.

Discovering these spots is a thrill in itself. As I walk or drive by, a new joint catches my eye, a place I’ve yet to experience. It’s like finding a hidden treasure, and I can’t wait to add it to my to-do list, a task I’m eager to complete immediately.

I usually discover weekend hang-out joints, poetry or karaoke spaces, or even just a place where I can have great food now and again. The best part is that most, if not all, of these spaces are reasonably priced and thus accessible to everyone on a budget.

2. Local Museums, Galleries, and Artifact Spaces

In Nairobi, there are several local museums and art spaces you can always visit and explore for entertainment and knowledge. The National Museum, Karen Blixen Museum, Banana Art Gallery, Kenya Railway Museum, and African Heritage House are just examples of such spaces.

When you visit any of these areas, you will not only enjoy seeing different artefacts that existed throughout the history of Kenya and Africa, but you will also learn and appreciate the vast milestones we keep making as a country and as African people.

3. Parks, open green spaces, and park and chill events

Due to the increased cost of living, people have found ways to have maximum travel experiences at the least possible costs. One of these ways is the park and chill culture, which is slowly catching wind. People with cars drive to open spaces such as the Limuru Tea Farms or Lake Elementaita Shores and have a good time talking, eating, and socialising away.

These events may seem simple, but they’re a powerful way to connect with others. Traditional ways of meeting up and making friends are still effective, and most participants leave with a sense of belonging and broader networks.

These three are just examples of how you can explore your backyard without breaking the bank. By engaging in these minimalistic modes of travelling, you get new experiences, new knowledge, and even new friends that you probably wouldn’t have acquired if you stayed home with the excuse of not having enough money. From another point of view, you also are encouraging and participating in local tourism, and isn’t that just grand?