Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow it. Maybe it’s your budget that’s holding you back. Either way, just because you’re limited in terms of travel doesn’t mean you can’t go on an adventure right in your own backyard. Sure, it might not be the getaway you’re looking for, but the following activities are mini escapes that will leave you refreshed and with some pretty great memories.
Go on a hike or long walk
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Have you heard of urban hiking? Well, you have now! Many cities have great city parks to explore and trails along waterways and through the local nature to stroll along—if you're in the Philippines, we recommend exploring Hidden Valley in Laguna. Grab your Punchdrunk Panda backpack, fill it up with snacks and supplies and enjoy the waterfalls. Take your time and see your city from a new perspective and get some exercise in while you’re at it.
Find a local business to tour
Whether it’s a chocolate factory or local brewery, many businesses open their doors for tours. Usually food-related, you’ll be able to experience a unique part of your city from the inside out—plus you’ll likely get to taste a few new treats. Make a day of it and squeeze in a few tours with some friends—this one’s an especially good idea for a rainy day. If the weather is cooperating, consider a tour, like the Big Bonondo Food Wok through Manila's Chinatown, with Old Manila Walks.
Rent a scooter or bicycle
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What better way to escape than with the wind blowing in your hair (under your helmet, of course!). Track down a local bike or scooter rental shop and pick up a set of wheels for the day. Not only will you be able to explore parts of the city you wouldn’t usually, doing so on a new means of transportation will provide an extra element of fun. If you're looking for something a little more all-inclusive, check out Bambike Ecotours for something different—you'll love their bamboo bikes! Grab a gang of friends and find a beach to take a jealousy-inducing Instagram photo by—the bikes will be the ultimate prop.
Be a tourist in your own town
Sure, tourist attractions in your own city can seem way too cliche. But have you actually visited any of them? It can be fun to set your cheesy perceptions of these places aside and actually see your city with a new set of eyes. Visit a theme park, climb to the top of a popular viewing spot or join a walking tour—just ensure you have all your tourist essentials in your Punchdrunk Panda duffle! You might even meet some new people along the way, which will definitely reinvigorate your love of your city as you watch them experience it for the first time.
Find a place to enjoy a special meal or cool culinary experience
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Food is an essential part of any city and culture—so finding a new culinary experience in your own stomping grounds will definitely open your eyes. Whether it’s taking a cooking class with friends or heading to high tea, you’ll feel like you’re somewhere else, especially if you’re trying a different cuisine than your norm. Don't feel like going to a restaurants? Check out the Legazpi Sunday Market for delicious home style meals made by locals.
Go to a neighborhood you’ve never visited
You’re probably very familiar with your own neighborhood. You have your favorite park and your favorite coffee shop. But when’s the last time you ventured further afield and checked out a neighborhood a little less known to you? Hop on public transit and visit a nearby city or neighborhood. You’ll find new places, new sites and new people too.
Try a new fitness class
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Heading into a fitness studio you’ve never visited is always a new experience. Pair that with an exercise routine you’ve never tried before and you’ve got a perfect (and healthy) escape. Pack your Punchdrunk Panda tote with all your gym bag necessities and sweat it out! From spinning and indoor rock climbing, to water aerobics and run clubs, your mind and body will thank you.
If you're more in the mood to work out solo, strap on your favorite sneakers and head to Quirino Avenue, Quezon Memorial Circle or Fort Bonifacio Global City. Enjoying the city by foot, you're sure to take in some new sights.
Take in a play
Theater is nothing if not an escape. Find a play, musical or even a movie that piques your interest and let the actors on stage or on screen transport you to a different place or time. Look up shows that might be touring to your city (we recommend checking out TicketWorld for local and international performances) and if you’re lucky, certain theaters will offer last-minute discount tickets or even discounted nights certain days of the week.
Visit the ocean, without the beach
Skip the sand and head to Manila Ocean Park. With exhibits featuring everything critters from Antartica to mythical mermaids, you'll be treated to a day jam-packed full of attractions. Be sure to check out the shows too (we love the sea lions) or really dive in and go for an experience, like getting up close and personal with sharks and rays.
Check out a local gallery
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With art being unique to every artist, going to a gallery can take you to another world! Whether it’s a traveling exhibit featuring Andy Warhol or a small show in a local space showcasing the word of an up-and-coming artist, you’ll likely be inspired by creativity, without even having to leave your city. If contemporary art is your thing, you've got to check out one (or all!) of the top 10 art galleries in Manila.
Though these activities might not satisfy the travel bug, they’ll definitely provide a new perspective and a little escape. Do you have a favorite way to get away without actually planning a trip? Share it with us :)