It is difficult to become bored when you are traveling for leisure, but traveling for business can be tricky. Sometimes it is hard to fill the moments when you aren’t working, sleeping, or drinking coffee so you can work when you should be sleeping. Relaxation and recreation are even less attainable if you are stuck out in the middle of nowhere in a town that has one bar and half a bowling alley. Never fear, even the tiniest town has something to offer in terms of entertainment, as long as you know where to look.
Local libraries are the greatest of the unsung heroes. Libraries tend to have a rather dull reputation, but they are sources of abundant (FREE!) entertainment. In addition to books and magazines, most local libraries also carry DVDs and CDs, and some have massive mp3 databases. Think of the library as an iTunes store—it has books, music, movies, and TV shows but you don’t have to sell any organs to use them. Furthermore, libraries are safe havens for those who need a minute of silence after 5:00 pm. If you are the type that prefers social gatherings, libraries often host local meet up groups and clubs, and if you are feeling generous or need to rack up some good karma you can usually volunteer.
Public high schools and community centers are also severely underappreciated. The presence of a high school means regular sporting events, choir concerts, orchestral performances, and musicals. Community Centers host similar events in addition to game nights, movie showings, and art galleries displaying the work of local artisans. While these places may not immediately come to mine when you envision “nightlife,” they are resources for those travelers who feel stranded in an unfamiliar location and find themselves watching the weather channel on Friday night. Entertainment can be found anywhere and everywhere as long as you keep an open mind.