GypsyNesting in Your Own Backyard

As much as we love our GypsyNester lifestyle, we understand that chucking it all and hitting the highway is not something everybody can do. Many of us have ties that can make it difficult -- if not impossible -- to pull that off. With that in mind, we like to periodically point out that there are plenty of great GypsyNesting opportunities right in your own backyard.

A plethora of possibilities are playing out nearby no matter where you call home. You just have to know where to look.

Combines smashing into each other  at the Hillsdale County Fair
Watch for signs, look for fliers or peruse the local press. Check the newspaper's Living or Entertainment sections or pick up the area's free weekly “What's Happening” type magazine.

Read the ads, not just the articles. That's how we found the Combine Demolition Derby at The Hillsdale County Fair and that was more fun than any humans should ever be allowed to have.

High School football is great people watching!
Sports fans can find diversions in any season, right in the area. Local high schools have “Big Games” almost every weekend. The unbridled excitement of youth is contagious. Just don't get caught making out under the bleachers. Embarrassing at any age.

Got a college nearby? If so, great competition is happening almost everyday if you look beyond the “big” sports. Check out a track meet, softball game, tennis or golf match, gymnastics or swimming meet, soccer, rugby... who knows, you could even become a fencing fanatic.

Labatt Park in London, Canada

The price is usually right too... free. For a fee, the bigger games are a blast too. We have had a ball at NCAA football in the fall, basketball and hockey in the winter and what better way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon than to sit in the sun at a baseball game?

Speaking of baseball, is there a minor league squad nearby? If so, check them out. Quality play at a discount price with the added bonus of close proximity to the umps for ease of sharing "ideas" on the job he is doing.

Go to a concert!

Live in or near a college town? Universities provide any number of diversions that otherwise may not be available in smaller cities.

The theater and music departments are performing, independent movies are showing and guest lecturers are lecturing right now at schools all over the country.

College towns also attract concert tours that might normally only hit the bigger cities. In our travels we caught both Bob Dylan and The Eagles in mid-sized, midwestern college towns.

While on campus, pick up a class schedule -- something may tickle your fancy.

The Mustard Museum in Mt. Horab, WI

Almost every burg has a museum of some kind, a community theater, historic district and certainly restaurants.

There must be a restaurant around that you've never tried -- try it or better yet, try several in an “Appy Crawl.” This is a GypsyNester favorite in any city. Pick two or three interesting establishments and order appetizers and crawl from place to place. We find this a great way to sample several menus in one evening without destroying our credit rating. Additionally, it forces us to walk between eateries, burning off calories as we go.

How about State or National Parks and Monuments in your vicinity?

They were set aside for a reason -- there is something scenic, unique or historic protected there. We have never been disappointed on any visit to any park. Pack up a tent and get back to nature, find a romantic lodge or rent an RV. Who says camping can't include soft beds, a full kitchen and a big screen TV? Now that's roughing it!

Crab Fest in Port Angeles, Washington

If none of these ideas strike your fancy -- fear not -- we saved the best for last. For a guaranteed good time, just look for an event that has the word “fest” tacked onto the end of it. Nothing says wingding like the suffix “fest.”

Close off the streets, set up the booths, bring on the bands and the deep-fried grub on-a- stick, it's party time!

Montreal Jazz Fest

We prefer food-fests (like Mikey, we'll try anything) but every “fest” proposes the potential for fun and frivolity. We've partaken in flower fests, oyster fests, salmon fests, bean fests, manatee fests, broom corn fests, magic fests, a gizzard fest and even a testicle festival, or Testy Festy (Rocky Mountain Oysters - ba-by!).

On those occasions when organizers may have missed the golden opportunity to slap “fest” onto their name, don't hold it against them. Fairs, carnivals and bazaars have possibilities too. A street fair can be nearly as fun as a fest. We like to think that these smaller celebrations are just learning to walk before they run. Someday they may well proudly proclaim the title of “fest.”

Our idea is that GypsyNesting is all about experiencing new things and embracing the differences that abound in our world, so here's one last idea:

Why not hit the big city if you live in the country or kick back with some time in the country if you're breathing that big city air? Look around, meet the citizenry, try the local fare.

With an open mind and strong stomach, you might just like it.

Your turn: Did we miss anything? Please leave a comment and share your ideas!

David & Veronica,

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