Everyone has their own special recipe they like to follow when in a new spot. Some take directions from books or guides, some follow the wisdom of past travelers and others rely on the kindness of locals. This is my take on what I've found that works and what doesn't and how it has helped with my exploration into my new home here in Florida.
The most common step people take when in a new place is exploring books or guides. These provide the reader with an amazing story version of fantastic places and allows the reader to create their own pre-imagined fantasy of the trips they will take in the new land. I have had many books and dreamt many adventures but in the long run all they ever prove to be are dreams. I don't want to dismiss the usefulness of books and guides but what I urge is a slice of realism, because in all fairness, these are stories. It is pure fantasy that paints a pretty picture from others eyes.
Along the same lines as books, are fellow travelers. These folks can give you a firsthand explanation of certain places, how they felt, and things they did for fun. The key with these tasty treats is to understand the storyteller. One man's treasure is another man's trash, so you might be lead astray by the advise of some tool's version of a good time (which can be a bit sketchy when boozing in Bangkok).
The best recipe for a proper introduction into a new environment is local knowledge. This knowledge is earned from personal experience, which is found from people who know the lay of the land. Their knowledge is best gained through friendship. If you don't make friends easily, hit up local establishments for helpful hints. Follow their wisdom and take a chance, it might just lead to stories that echo throughout the ages.
I've been in Florida for just about 5 months. It is a different spot that proved to be challenging at first but through the kindness of others, has opened up like the sweet flower i hoped it would be. I come from a mountainous area littered with forest trails. But with a little help from my local wilderness connection, in the form of a hand drawn trail map and verbal directions, I'm knee deep in Florida wilderness love and couldn't be happier.
Thanks Travel Country for being that local connection.