Getting Away Without Leaving the City Limits

Photo credit: Sri Ganesha Temple

As much as I love living in Nashville, it hasn't always been easy to travel home to see friends and family for various events throughout the year. Holidays, weddings, birthdays, and reunions get expensive quickly, even with a free flight.

While maintaining long distance relationships with loved ones is a top priority, I've had to delay taking my own vacations over the past couple of years as a result.

Additionally, in order to meet my aggressive savings goals, I've opted to stay with my parents over a couple of long weekends and stay in Nashville on days that our office is closed.

I signed up for a new credit card this year to try to rack up enough miles for a trip to Iceland, but the accumulation has occurred more slowly than I anticipated and most of my earnings have already been allocated to cover other required trips.

It's hard not to feel a twinge of jealousy when I see friends trekking through Patagonia, sipping wine on the Italian countryside, or my sister's three week jaunt in Jamaica.

How are they able to afford these seemingly expensive trips?

Why does it often feel like I'm the only one committed to saving for the future?

Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly appreciative of the massive amounts of domestic travel I've been able to do over the past five years for free or very inexpensively.

And I'm grateful for the large amount of frequent flier miles I've been able to earn, even if through my own sweat equity, that give me the ability to save money on trips to see my family, weddings, and FinCon.

But sometimes I do ache for more.

To ease the sting of my travel sacrifices, I've looked for more ways to enjoy the summer in Tennessee. A recent blog post from 12th & Broad, Nashville Adventures: Getaway, Don't Go Away, caught my eye. The article highlights a variety of cultural destinations within the city.

The India section encouraged readers to visit Nashville's own Sri Ganesha Temple and cool off at the breathtaking Ozone Falls. Obviously not the same as visiting India, but unique and worthwhile destinations nonetheless.

The article got me thinking about other places in my city that make me feel like I have gotten away. Places like The Blue Moon Lagoon located on the Cumberland River at Rock Harbor Marina, Radnor Lake State Park, or Arrington Vineyards.

Even a meal at one of the many incredible ethnic restaurants along Nolensville Road – Gojo Ethiopian, Taj Indian Restaurant, La Hacienda , or Istanbul to name a few – can inexpensively (and deliciously) transform an entire evening.

There has to be places like this in every city.

Places that make you feel as if you've gotten away without renting a car, staying in a hotel, or being pat down by the dreaded TSA. Places that seem like you've splurged to experience a new culture and gain a new perspective.

Visiting places like this can make a staycation feel less like a sacrifice and more like a choice.

Readers: What are your favorite places to get away in your city?

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Discussions — 34 Responses

  • Hannah @ Wise Dollar July 9, 2014 on 9:45 am

    My favorite places to get away from my city or particularly my country are Italy, Paris, HongKong and Australia. I am totally dreaming of traveling to other countries and I hope I can do it in the future.

    • Addison Cash Hannah @ Wise Dollar July 13, 2014 on 2:34 am

      Neat! I’ve been to (and loved) Italy. Those others places are definitely on the travel bucket list.

  • Natalie @ Financegirl July 9, 2014 on 1:00 pm

    My mom and step-dad just got a boat that they dock about an hour away. Although it’s not “in the city” it’s close enough where it’s not a vacation. I’m really excited to have that be a fun place that’s close by.

    • Addison Cash Natalie @ Financegirl July 13, 2014 on 2:36 am

      That sounds like a fantastic getaway. I’ve gotta make friends with someone who has a boat on Percy Priest Lake just outside of Nashville.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life July 9, 2014 on 1:28 pm

    I’m one of those people you hate who is seemingly ALWAYS traveling 😉 though I do explore my own city quite a bit too. NYC has endless offerings, and I’ve been here ten years!

    • Addison Cash Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life July 13, 2014 on 2:37 am

      Anyone who tires of things to do in New York must be tired of life, right?

  • Derek @ July 9, 2014 on 2:40 pm


    I’ve been in the same boat as you – yearning to travel to exotic places. It was only recently when I really committed myself to saving that I realized the thousands of things to do right here in my own local city.

    I had really only scratched the surface of what was out there within 10-miles driving distance. I’d wager that Nashville is much the same!

    You are in probably one of the top-20 travel destination cities in the US 🙂

    • Addison Cash Derek @ July 13, 2014 on 2:41 am

      Awesome, Derek! It’s great to live somewhere with so many cool things to do!

  • E.M. July 9, 2014 on 3:15 pm

    This has been me for the past few years. I didn’t really have enough money to travel extensively upon graduating from college, and once I got a full-time job, I didn’t have enough vacation time to really make traveling worthwhile. I used my one vacation last year to visit my parents, so I know how you feel. This year it’s not looking any better. I think it’s a great idea to explore your own city if you can. That’s what we plan on doing, especially since the city is also new to us as we moved.

    • Addison Cash E.M. July 13, 2014 on 2:42 am

      Exploring a brand new city sounds like fun, E.M.!

  • Joshua Rodriguez July 9, 2014 on 3:48 pm

    It’s amazing what you can find in a city. Just outside of Portland, I spend my time at sauvie island, Mt. Hood, the Ape Caves, and other awesome places when I need to get away. Thanks for the great read!

    • Addison Cash Joshua Rodriguez July 13, 2014 on 2:43 am

      That all sounds amazing, Joshua. I need to explore more outside of Portland next time I get the opportunity.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde July 9, 2014 on 4:02 pm

    One of my best friends lived in Nashville for 3 years and it was awful trying to visit her because the flights were SO expensive! That being said, I do love Nashville and there really is so much to see and do. We did a fun side girl’s adventure to the Jack Daniels distillery during one visit that wasn’t far from town.

    • Addison Cash Shannon @ Financially Blonde July 13, 2014 on 2:44 am

      I love the Jack Daniels distillery tour! I always try to bring friends from out of town there when I get the chance.

  • Asset-Grinder July 9, 2014 on 10:41 pm

    With kids now I dread vacations as they are expensive and often unenjoyable. I do however make small excursions with the family. Like go out to a national park , or go for a classic steam train ride, or a picnic at the park. I keep thing simple and somewhat close to home so we dont have to overnight anywhere.

    Thanks for sharing, Good Day and Grind On!

    • Addison Cash Asset-Grinder July 13, 2014 on 2:45 am

      Sounds like fun, Asset-Grinder! I didn’t take a lot of big trips with my family growing up, but I have great memories of doing things around New England.

  • Kipp July 9, 2014 on 11:24 pm

    I like this post, it really puts emphasis on the options for local travel and just enjoying the things that are near us. Although the city I life in is small itself, there are some great options less than an hour away which include Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan.

    • Addison Cash Kipp July 13, 2014 on 2:47 am

      I’ve been to Michigan for work several times and there seems to be a ton of awesome things to see and do, especially in the summer!

  • NZ Muse July 9, 2014 on 11:29 pm

    We live really close to both beach and bush, which are beautiful, calm and rugged! We never have to go far to feel like we’re getting away. <3 Auckland

    • Addison Cash NZ Muse July 13, 2014 on 2:48 am

      So cool. I really need to get to NZ someday!

  • debt debs July 10, 2014 on 2:02 am

    I love exploring my own city when we have out-of-town company. It really makes you feel proud. And if you are just on your own it’s fun too because you can look at it as if you are from a different city. You just put your traveler’s glasses on!

    I’ve had the opportunity to travel extensively with my job. Not much anymore, but that’s fine by me because I prefer to be home now that I’m a grandma.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog today! 🙂

    • Addison Cash debt debs July 13, 2014 on 2:49 am

      Exploring your city with out of town guests is definitely fun! Probably neat to do with your grand kids too! 🙂

  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich July 10, 2014 on 11:54 pm

    I love this! Since actually settling down in one place, I’m not sure how I’m going to manage to work travel into my budget the way I want. And it seems more difficult planning for the time to travel too…

    but I am excited that NYC’s got so much going on. And my family is a $8.50 train ride away, so that’s my most common “vacation.”

    • Addison Cash Mel @ brokeGIRLrich July 13, 2014 on 2:51 am

      I’m jealous that you’re so close to your family and that you have the ability to get to so many places by train in the Northeast! Living in NYC would never get boring.

  • Zee @ Work To Not Work July 11, 2014 on 5:53 am

    Where I live there are some nice redwood forests not to far away, there’s also a lot of nice smaller little towns nearby once you get out of the city.

    I have some friends who always seem to be traveling, I think it’s really cool for them to constantly be going places. But at the same time I know that they have barely saved for their future and don’t really have much to show for it either. Sure they may have the latest phones and nice cars, but it’s not like they own anything that doesn’t depreciate in value like a home. I’m just guessing that down the road these people will become jealous of the sacrifices that we were able to make earlier in life.

    • Addison Cash Zee @ Work To Not Work July 13, 2014 on 2:52 am

      I agree, Zee! Being near the redwood forests must be amazing. I’ve always enjoyed visiting them when I’m in the Bay Area.

  • Tre July 11, 2014 on 12:22 pm

    We moved last year so we have a whole new city to explore, which is good because I travel every 6 weeks for work. Normally we use our vacation time to go home & visit family.

    • Addison Cash Tre July 13, 2014 on 2:55 am

      Exploring a new city sounds fun, Tre. You must have quite a few frequent flyer miles like me!

  • Ryan @ Impersonal Finance July 11, 2014 on 1:55 pm

    It may sound weird, but right in the quad in front of the courthouse downtown, there is a spot where you can look at the city from just the right angle and all you see are tall buildings, which sometimes makes me feel like I’m in a big(ger) city. But I do love a few of the restaurants you mentioned, however, I’m still saving and planning for a 3 week trip overseas next summer, so we’ll see how that goes 🙂

    • Addison Cash Ryan @ Impersonal Finance July 13, 2014 on 2:57 am

      I should walk down there for lunch sometime. Sounds really cool. A three week overseas trip is definitely worth the sacrifice 🙂

  • brian July 11, 2014 on 6:10 pm

    We just finished out own little staycation. Kids went to day care, and we turned around and went right back home! It was awesome to lounge around, read, exercise, do some housework….al the things that people without kids do all the time, but we haven’t been able to do together for 4+ years!

    No cost, relaxing and we got a lot done? Thats one ultimate vacation.

    • Addison Cash brian July 13, 2014 on 2:59 am

      Sounds great, Brian. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine how awesome your staycation must have felt!

  • Frankly Frugal Finance: Weekender Edition #1 | Frankly Frugal Finance July 12, 2014 on 11:43 am

    […] Getting Away Without Leaving the City Limits […]

  • Lauren July 13, 2014 on 7:57 pm

    Great post! I’ve been making it a point to explore my home state of PA more this summer. You really don’t have to go far to explore somewhere different!


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