My brain tells me that I can visit them anytime because I live nearby.
The problem with this mentality is, “anytime” rarely comes along: the weather is bad, too nice, I’m tired, I would rather stretch across the couch with a good book, or something better has come along. I have used all of these excuses.
Not this summer.
Now that the unofficial start of summer has come, I am making a commitment to cross at least 3-5 items off my “Local List.”
Will you take this challenge with me?
In this post: You will learn what a "local list" is and receive a bit of motivation to cross items off your list this summer.
What is a Local List
A “Local List” is a list of events, museums, historic sites, or experiences that you put off visiting or doing because you either live close by or have special access to them and therefore you could do them “anytime.”
Each year, I would welcome at least 5-6 visitors who lived around Monument Square, or just a few blocks away, but they had never visited. And I am not talking about people who just moved into the neighborhood. I am talking about people who had lived around the monument for 5+ years.
I once had a visitor who told me that they had lived in the neighborhood for 32 years and that this was his first visit.
What brought these locals in?
Sometimes curiosity, but mostly out-of-town family.
I used to be astonished. I would think “how could you live so close, for so long, and yet never have taken the time to visit this important site before today?!”
Years later, I realize that I am guilty of the same procrastination.
There are several places that I have never visited because I think to myself “I can go anytime, there’s no rush.”
So what museums, events, historic sites, and experiences have I put off? What is on my “Local List?”
In no particular order: • Dorchester Heights Monument • Boston African American National Historic Site and Black Heritage Trail • Annual Lexington and Concord Re-enactment • Isaac Royall House • Mary Baker Eddy Library Mapparium • Castle Island • Sam Adams Brewery Tour • Battleship Cove • Plimouth Plantation • The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum • Fenway Park Tour • Peabody Essex Museum • Salem, Massachusetts • Springfield Armory National Historic Site • JFK Birthplace • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site • Gibson House Museum • Nichols House Museum • Otis House Museum • Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site • Newport, Rhode Island • New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
And those are just the 23 places that I can think of off the top of my head.
This summer I am going to check 3-5 items off of my local list.
I challenge you to do the same.
Draw up your “Local List” and commit some time this summer to visiting the sites on it.
I will begin my quest on Saturday May 31, 2014. I have made plans to take a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery with friends.
What sites, museums, and experiences are on your “Local List?”
How many sites will you commit to checking off of it this summer?
Leave a comment or tweet with #LocalList so we can motivate each other to connect with history and experience the life and culture around us.