Yes, I know for those of you who hate museums, you dreadfully conjure up vacuous overwhelming boring spaces, blisteringly painful throbbing eyewatering headaches, and dull dragging aching feet. I know, seriously.
And now, you are enthusiastically embarking on that amazing well-deserved holiday you have been painstakingly planning for a year. You have meticulously scoured Pinterest, Facebook groups, Trip-Advisor and they all annoyingly recommend without fail, the what? MUSEUM!!
What is one to do when you don’t want to appear to be a dull old rusty nail, when you are no doubt bombarded with probing questions on your return? You don’t want to be shamefacedly stumped without even an iota of an opinion.
Or, it may not be that sun-drenched holiday that looms as Covid has now rudely disrupted our Google planners. Alternatively, you may live in a city where museums are not an uncommon feature and you perhaps have a rebellious child or two in tow.
I will show you the attributes of why you should muster the courage to conquer that visit, as you defiantly stare down- (or should I say up) those huge magnificent architectural columns.
There are a plethora of pages telling you how to enjoy the museum- forget them. They can be soul-sapping. Instead, focus on WHY you should make use of them.
- Think of visiting museums as social climbing. I haven’t come across very many educated people who don’t have a good grasp of history, or at the very least some interest in it. Visiting museums may increase your ability to successfully socially interact, therefore increasing your cultural value and social collateral. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?
I mean, you become smarter by default, therefore making you more interesting as you are able to spark and keep a conversation (hopefully). You may argue that reading or watching a movie is just as suitable, but retention is greater when there is direct exposure.
- Be in the present and don’t expect to be bored. Museums teach you what you don’t learn in school and also what you will not learn lazing about on the beach on that exotic holiday. A visit will give you an insight into the local culture, and so you are able appreciate your experience much more.
- Museums make for amazing pictures as they are usually works of art themselves. Just stand outside, take a selfie and you have an invaluable experience to remember. It doesn’t matter which country you are in, the spaces are usually magnificent. Think of the popular Louvre, Guggenheim, British Museum for example and you see that I’m right.
- You are shattered from all that sight-seeing and your feet are throbbing. Escape to the quiet cool interior of a museum for some zen time. Trust me, it can be better than yoga. How? Just don’t bother traipsing through the maze of artifacts, head straight to the aromatic café, grab your favourite brew and do some people watching from there – amazing!
- As we all know, there is no point wasting time taking pictures as yours will never be as good as the millions already plastered on Instagram and Google. So whilst there, why not pick up one or two of those glossy postcards from the gift card section which have amazing reproductions of the most popular works? These make really great conversation pieces or gifts. Keep them in your gift inventory.
- Another reason to visit is that museums can be such a great way to relax in an incredible space which can give you so much inspiration. If you are thinking of redecorating, or just sprucing up your interior designs, take a look at the tiles, the ceilings, the columns – there is potentially just so much here.
Legitimate Reasons to Stalk Your Local Museum
- If you have energetic kids (most of us do), you know how exhausting it can be to constantly keep them in check. The museum can be a welcome place of refuge. There are always kids’ workshops on offer which will afford you a few hours of blissful peace. Why wouldn’t you use it?
- If you live locally and have a membership, you can also drop off your back-breaking rucksack of potatoes, laptops or whatever piece of essential granite rock you are hauling around, giving you the freedom to float around the city.
- You may not bite this one but hear me out. Are you counting your steps? If you spend around two hours in a museum (as you more than likely will) you will likely surpass your routinely designated daily 10,000 step goal quite easily.
- Everyone loves a bargain I’m sure. You can save money as museums often supply art investment pieces at a discount.
- There is the opportunity to see seasonal exhibits you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Many years ago I opportunistically stumbled upon Chris Ofili – I mean he uses elephant dung to make art – how incredulous is that?
- Your local museum membership usually aims to give great value, for example, offering free special evenings and events, cinema screening, free entrance to special exhibitions, art chats, book signings, professional development classes, and wine tasting. There is even the brow raising occasional farmers market!
- If you are new to an area, regular visits will allow you to hob-nob with like-minded people, which can potentially increase your social circle. It’s such a great effortless way to make local friends.
So now I have given you so many reasons why you no longer have to dread the museum and why you should seriously consider it a part of your social repertoire. International museum visits offer you cultural insights you may not otherwise have gleaned from your brief holiday visit. It also provides educational gems you don’t access in school, great photo opportunities and conversational ammunition.
Local museum visits afford you welcome social interaction, awesome discounts on investment art pieces, a refuge when you are overwhelmed by your ebullient kids, or just an elegant space to people watch and have a coffee whilst at the same time giving you design inspiration.
What’s not to like? I hope now your heart is beating at a steady pace, there are no beads of cold sweat on your brow, your brain is not full of thick grey fog, and the golf ball in your throat is now in a hole somewhere.
I hope you will now be searching with wanton abandon for your nearest museum to see what is on offer. You will be amazed.
Have you found any quirky events floating about that you want to share? Please do in the comments section as I’m all game.
Photo credits- Jeswin Thomas, Verona Wheatley