Expats who explore everything their new country has to offer have an easier time adjusting than those who stick to basic routines of staying at home-going to work-coming back home. Venturing beyond the obligatory tourist attractions facilitates a deeper cultural experience and broader layers of understanding.
Meet more locals, eat more food, try a new hobby.
I invite you this week to look at the town you're living in with the eyes of a tourist. Even if it's your hometown you never left - what could you do to freshen things up? I don't do this enough myself, e.g. I've lived near Dallas since 2007 and have yet to visit the 6th floor museum. I waited for friends to visit me to go to a rodeo or the Southfork Ranch, made famous by the 80s TV show.
For some reason, not being considered a tourist was super important to me while living in Barcelona. Many Germans who visit the Catalan capital leave a bad impression, so I wanted to make sure not to be lumped in with them. Also, once I got settled, every-day life took over, and just because the beach was there didn't mean I had to go see it every day. I knew it would still be there tomorrow.
But, really, what's so wrong with looking like a tourist? We're all just temporarily on this planet anyway - our time is limited, so maybe we can squeeze a little more joy out of it. Embrace your inner tourist, treat life like a vacation, dust off your sense of wonder, let your curiosity roam free, and have some fun today!