I have been doing so much traveling lately for work, pleasure and, unfortunately, for family emergencies. However, each time I touch down at LaGuardia, roll into Penn Station, or cross the $14 George Washington Bridge, I am reminded that New York City is such a special and unique place to live.

However, New York City can be an exhausting place. The constant movement, the noise pollution, the actual pollution and the roughly 9 million people who all seem to be riding the subway at the same time as I am can weaken my spirit and make me pine for suburban life some days. I have friends who have peaceful commutes in their cars and others who live in cities where the pace seems to be just slightly faster than a crawl. Even though I am exhausted from the mandatory travel, I have decided to try to discover New York City as though I am a tourist so I can continue to discover all it has to offer and to rekindle my love for this ever evolving place.

I have been venturing to new boroughs and previously undiscovered neighborhoods as of late, and since the subways can sometimes take more than an hour to travel to various neighborhoods, I feel like I am leaving my city. I have found new restaurants and cuisines, and discovered small museums with free entrance fees, such as the Bronx Museum and the PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, which has a suggested donation fee of $5.

I have also utilized Metro North to take me to parts of the diverse areas of Connecticut. I have ventured on Metro North to Connecticut for a little fresh air and relaxation, especially during the hot summer months, when the city becomes a pizza oven with the brick buildings. I also utilize NJ Transit, which easily takes travelers to New Jersey. Many shows in Newark at NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) are much cheaper than in New York City, and the trip to the Newark takes about 10 minutes from New York Penn Station.

With so many inexpensive bus companies available, exploring nearby cities for the day is the best way to treat oneself to a quick (and cheap) “day-cation.” I grab a local paper and go exploring in nearby cities large and small, and heading south even just an hour or two can be a much needed respite from the winter weather in New York City.

When I return to New York City from these adventures great and small, I am refreshed, renewed and ready to recommit myself to New York City. I must leave the city to truly stay in love with it, so if your time and budget only allow brief day-cations to a different borough or a nearby city, do it. Life is to be lived and discovered. Tomorrow is not promised, so grab a map and start exploring.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” Follow her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.