Think about the last time you traveled. It could’ve been a quick weekend road trip. Or, perhaps it was a 15-hour flight across the pond.
And, when you were in the different city or country of your choosing, you probably asked for recommendations on where to eat and what sites to see. Hell, maybe you even rocked a fanny pack. Sometimes functionality trumps fashion. No?
Essentially, you were your worst nightmare: a certifiable, couldn’t-blend-in-with-the-locals-if-you-tried tourist.
You know, those people who generate a bad rap with their incessant pestering of the locals and bold, yet admirable, attempts at taking a selfie with any scene or object that’s remotely worth capturing? (And, let’s be serious, if you look good — and we all know anyone can look good with the right filter — it’s worth photographing and promptly posting to the social media site of your choosing. #TeamLoFi)
Tonight, I had the pleasure of jogging around Cincinnati with a German native — technically a Cincinnati tourist — and it was awesome.
1. For starters, it was refreshing. I’ve never seen someone so enthralled with Cincinnati — our bridges, slang terms, our pizza. Hell, she even thought our Hofbrauhaus was cool. She photographed scenery and objects I’ve seen hundreds, probably thousands of times (and simply never take a few moments to appreciate). Suddenly, she had me thinking, yeah, Cincinnati is pretty awesome.
2. They network like it’s their job, without the goal of actually getting a job. (My new German friend already has one — one she loves.) I think this girl has more friends in Cincinnati than I do — and I live here. She introduces herself to strangers. She takes interest in her co-workers and makes a genuine effort to get to know them outside of the office.
3. Tourists try new things. When you’re in a new place, especially for leisure, you typically try to jam-pack every site, eatery, experience — you name it — into your time frame, however brief it may be. This girl does that. She buys Groupons for art classes. When someone invites her to do something, she does it. She doesn’t make excuses. She’s not too “busy” with work. (She’s working here for an extended period of time.) She walks. She walks a lot, exploring. She actually gets out and experiences things, creating memories, instead of living vicariously through her friends online.
Needless to say, I took a few notes. Tonight served as a subtle reminder that living like a tourist in your own city is something we should all try.