By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange HQ
Every city has that one part of town. The part that seems to have a bit more personality than the rest – the one where creative folks are free to do their thing. But usually those imaginative pockets are overlooked by the residents of the city at large, appreciated more by out-of-town visitors. My suggestion? Every once in a while, take on the mindset of those visitors and be a tourist your own town.
Timing is Everything
Unfortunately, artsy areas are often in an older, more congested part of the city. The key is to go during off hours – early on weekend mornings or, even better, a holiday. I woke up surprisingly early on the 4th of July and decided to stroll through downtown Tucson, AZ. While it may not be the bustling metropolis that your city is, I was shocked at how few people I saw. I half expected a tumbleweed roll by. If only for a little while, the place felt like it was mine.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town & Make New Discoveries
For my morning of hometown tourism, I brought up a map of downtown murals, parked the car, applied some sunscreen and started walking. Good tunes flowed through my earbuds and, without the usual car or foot traffic in the way, opportunities for interesting photos were plentiful. I also made sure to take note of new (or new-to-me) shops and restaurants that I wanted to check out in the future.
In about the same amount of time it would take to rewatch an episode of Game of Thrones for the umpteenth time, you can capture some fun photos, get a sneaky amount of exercise in, and, perhaps most importantly, better connect with the city you call home. While your next vacation may be a ways off, it’s good to know that you can always be a tourist in your own town.