Always Be A Tourist

Tourist. It’s practically a dirty word in Manhattan. It’s the people who stop dead on the sidewalk to take a photo and New Yorkers are like “what could possibly be so exciting right here that you need to remember it?!” Just last week I was in Times Square (a hazard of seeing Broadway shows…normally I avoid it like the plague!) and I stepped on the back of a tourist’s flip flop. She turned around and gave me a look. So out loud I mumbled “Sorry.” But in my head I was like “Maybe if you walked a little faster that wouldn’t happen! This is NYC!” Because on the outside I’m still the polite upstate girl my parents raised…but on the inside, I’ve lived here for 10 years and I’m a New Yorker!


So yes, that’s where my mind went when I saw today’s writing prompt–to the negative connotations of the word tourist. But then I started thinking about tourists in the context of this blog. And I realized that my goal is really to be a tourist! A tourist in my own city and a tourist in my own life. It’s about trying new things, noticing things I’ve ignored in the past, learning new things, etc. It’s about putting my phone down and remembering to experience the world every day instead of just going through the motions.

So how could I do that today? When I had a busy schedule and not a ton of flexibility to change it up. I decided that I would rush through my morning routine and walk to work. And instead of just taking the fastest route through the park, I would meander by the Alice in Wonderland statue. A statue that is always covered in tourists and not easy to spend time really admiring.


I knew this was a good morning plan. The tourists are still eating expensive midtown breakfasts when I’m on my way to work! And as I walked toward the statue, I was thrilled to see that it was totally empty. I was going to get up close and personal with Alice. Or so I thought…


Alice was roped off and being cleaned by two workers. Which means instead of taking a million cool photos like a tourist, I had to hide in the bushes and get a paparazzi-style shot from an awkward angle.




So not exactly the tourist experience I was hoping for. But still a fun way to start my day. And I love the sunbeam in the photo that probably wouldn’t have been there had I been able to get closer to the statue. So the next time a tourist stops dead in front of me on a busy sidewalk, maybe I’ll stop too. And try to see my city through their eyes and less through my routine “get out of my way, I’m in a hurry” eyes. Because I want to be a tourist every day!

One Comment Add yours

  1. HermitCrab says:

    Neat perspective. I love the idea of being a tourist in your own city


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