Think you know everything there is to know about where you’ve been living? You’re probably wrong. After almost three years of living in D.C., I’m always blown away by the number of places that I’ve yet to see or hear about. For many of us at Georgetown, we create a bubble that prevents us from venturing out to all of the cool things going on just a short walk or Metro ride away. Boredom or disillusionment may actually just be a symptom of failing to break out of the bubble, so here are a few tips to expand your horizons in any city.

A city’s food scene can say a lot about its makeup. Since D.C. offers an enormous variety of historic, trendy and cultural eats, taking the time to find some historic, cheap or hole-in-the-wall restaurants can be a delicious incentive to venture away from home. You can always make the trip over to historic Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, which boasts some high-profile clientele. Fans of “Top Chef” might like to try Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill for its burgers and milkshakes. And while the restaurant Citronelle is located in Georgetown, the gourmet and upscale restaurant makes for a dining experience that pushes the limits of the bubble.

Beyond restaurants, D.C. has another dimension to its food scene: farmer’s markets. Attracting vendors and artisans from all around, these markets are great places to go to buy fresh produce, browse for unique knick-knacks or connect with different people from all over. One great spot is D.C.’s Eastern Market, which houses vendors of all varieties. Here you can grab lunch, buy ingredients for a nice dinner later in the day or assemble your own flower arrangement to bring home with you. Exploring markets in the city is a different and delicious way to learn more about what’s going on in your neighborhood at the local level.

Museums often get a bad rap. It seems the only time people choose to go to one is when they feel obligated to when travelling. Museums, however, can be an affordable and educational way to break up your typical weekend routine. You just have to choose a museum that suits your interests. If you’re into world cultures and international exploration, you might want to try the National Geographic Museum, which regularly hosts free events. If espionage and secrecy is more to your liking, then consider visiting the Spy Museum in Penn Quarter.

Dinner and a movie can get old, too. If you’re looking for an original date idea, choosing a show at a local theater is a fun way to get out into other parts of the city and a reasonably inexpensive way to get surprisingly good entertainment. The theater isn’t just for old people, either. Here in D.C., the Royal Shakespeare Company just finished its modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” which included U2 music and iPhones. If more mainstream theater is your thing, the National Theatre also offers discounted tickets to students.

Long story short, there’s a lot to do even when you think you’ve exhausted all your options, but it does take a conscious effort to get out and try something new. Whether you decide to go to the park, try a new restaurant or watch a ballet at the theater, I guarantee that you’re going to feel good about doing it. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Brooke Berger is a junior in the College. THE 20-SOMETHING TRANSITION appears every other Friday in the guide.

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