If we applied the same measure of curiosity towards where we live as the places we tear out of magazines, dream about, book time off work and travel to, I wonder how much more we'd enjoy our everyday lives.

When we plan a trip, we pull out a map and crisscross where to dine and take in the must-see sights. If we're Type A, we even get our stop watches out. Our vacation is portioned to cram in as much as possible.

But then what happens?  We fly home, get back on the hamster wheel and life resumes. Our regular routine is a part of life - the same coffee shop on the same commute to and from the same neighborhood - and it's a given. Yet, it's the never adventuring off our well-worn path that lends our lives to boredom. A good place for the "grass is always greener" saying to take root is when things can start to feel dull.

The trick is to treat where you live like you treat everywhere else: with wide-eyed, open curiosity.

"Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Since I'm naturally chock full of wanderlust, a few weeks ago I wrote out a lengthy list of places I wanted to see in my own city. I've scratched them off one by one (this week seeing Canada's first traditionally hand-carved Hindu Place of Worship).

Ninety-five thousand cubic feet of marble, limestone and sandstone sits next to Highway 427 in the hustle that is Toronto and I wonder how many people have driven past it but never even seen it.

We showed up just in time to sit cross-legged on the cool marble, quietly sitting in on an Arti ceremony. Afterwards, we circled the grounds and practically tanned in the white reflection of the domes.

It was 11:15 a.m. on a Monday, but I wasn't interrupting their prayer to answer e-mails. I didn't take photos in a hurry. It was time I had set aside simply to be curious in my own city, in the place I call home.

Scratching places off this list has shown me how much value there is in shoving a curious hour here and an adventurous afternoon there into normal days like a bookmark.

Instead of feasting your eyes on whole weekends away and saving grand adventures for that big annual holiday, get curious about where you are.

Make a list.

Pick some spots.

And go!


Dani Kreeft is the one woman force behind paper goods brand Dani Press, currently based in Toronto, Canada. If she isn't scrambling to ship greeting cards and art prints across North America, she's probably wandering around with her camera foraging for a coffee.

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