I know what you’re thinking. A tourist in my own city/state? Bleh. No thanks. BUT WAIT!! Exploring your own culture that you’ve grown accustomed to is like looking through a brand new lens. It allows you to see your culture from an unbiased point of view with fresh eyes. Imagine someone from Dallas who has never had a delicious Tex-Mex taco with all the stuffings. Weird, right? That’s what it’s like to be a tourist. You’re exploring everything for the very first time and learning about the culture with renewed vision. Pretty neat, huh?
Bloglovin’ conveys some great new ideas on how to explore your native city/country with a new pace. Why go all over the world when there is so much to still be learned from the area you call home! Even if it’s just a hop and a jump from your actual living space.
For me, I came up with this idea because- while I only live 45 minutes away from the heart and soul of Downtown Dallas- I’ve never actually looked through the city with a tourist perspective. I have never eaten at the “best spots in Dallas,” never climbed the beautiful white Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that is a classic icon of Dallas, nor have I ever even been to the Farmer’s Market! How can I claim to know the culture in and out of Dallas, but yet have never done any of these things?
With all of this said, I encourage each and every one of you to explore your hometown city as a tourist would! Here is a few benefit of why to deepen your understanding of your city, and why you love to call it home so much! ↓
1. Enriches your unique cultural identity within your city
How can you have a sense of pride to love where you came from when you can’t even pinpoint WHY you love the city so much? Is it simply because you’re born there? Or maybe it’s the scene of hustle and bustle that attracts you and gives you the warm fuzzies of home. Whatever it is, being a tourist can help you navigate why exactly you identify so well with the city.
2. Demonstrates a better understanding of how some people function within the city
Some people are bakers, some people are entertainers, some people are just in the world to have a good time. Without being in your own personal bubble, you can learn just how diverse your city is!
3. Gives back locally to the city to love so much
As a PR major, I learned a thing or two about travel PR. How do you think they make your city look so intriguing? Yes, it might simply just be that amazing. Or, it could be that the tourists are helping contribute to YOUR city and giving money back to the local economy. The tasty food trucks you love so much are thriving because of tourist dollars. That cute little boutique to go to every so often is making bank because of the small little hometown memorabilia they have. Everything within downtown embodies the city and thanks to tourism draw and efforts, the city is able to entertain so many.
4. Reminds you that others might not have a local city to explore as a destination draw
Imagine if you’re from the middle of nowhere, and the nearest Wal-Mart is an 1 1/2 away. Do you think people are flocking to that area? Maybe for some peace and quiet, but not necessarily as an exploratory adventure. Take a minute to reflect on how lucky you might be to live in such a “happening place” in which you CAN explore. I bet those people as mentioned above wish they were in your shoes and were able to tour a city with so much attraction and buzz. Explore your city WITH those people, as they are most certainly the tourist that make the city so great. St. Augustine Moms Blog does a great nod into why it is so special to live in a place people flock to.
5. Gives you a better appreciation of how lucky you are to have such great food and lifestyle so close to you
You might take those tasty midnight nibbles for granted. Or perhaps that enormous burger you ate for lunch was just common practice to you. Whatever your thought process was, RE-EVALUATE. The food is so good because living in a big city has its advantages. All these businesses can pop up at a moment’s notice because of the vast network of people that either live in the city or come to visit. The American Dream practically exist because of tourism and the belief that your city is amazing, just as you think it is. Everyday Power Blog gives a few great examples of similar ideas. Thank you to these tourists for allowing my city to flourish, AMEN.
I hope you take this advice, as I know I will take my own. I can’t wait to be a tourist in my own city and develop my cultural experience. Are you? Leave me a comment if you agree with any of the points I made, or if you have been a tourist in your own city!!
– Haley C.