Tourism at home
When you travel the same route every day, the things that you see become routine. You don’t see them as unique or interesting. They become part of your landscape, to be overlooked as overly familiar. You become bored and you want to take a vacation.
Somewhere exotic. Somewhere interesting. Somewhere not like home.
Then you take a good look into your bank balance and you realize that you can’t afford to spend your vacation traveling to an exotic and interesting place that’s not like home. You still, however, want to take a vacation. So you take a “staycation.” You stay at home and take little day trips. You begin to see your community through the eyes of a tourist, instead of through the bored eyes of someone who has seen the same things over and over again. You see the familiar as new. You see everyday things as fascinating.
That happened to me. I live near Buffalo, New York, a city that I frequently visit. In the summer, I go to Buffalo’s Garden Walk, which is one of the biggest garden walks in the United States. I see gardens in public places – in medians of streets, in front of government buildings, and in front of schools. I explore gardens in front of and behind of the homes of people who have opened their gardens for the event. Viewing the gardens helps me to see a city that I once saw as only gritty and grimy as more than that. I started seeing Buffalo as bright and colorful and full of life.
At the same time, I started taking a look at Buffalo’s architecture. Many famous architects had come to design buildings in Buffalo late in the nineteenth century and early in the twentieth century. They included Frank Lloyd Wright, who was famous for the prairie style of design. He designed houses to be “organic,” to use the materials that were readily on hand in the local community, such as limestone and field stone.
The Guaranty Building was designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler to be an early skyscraper in Buffalo. It was completed in 1896, at a time when Buffalo was the eighth biggest city in the United States, thanks to the Erie Canal, which, at the time, was a major shipping channel that connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Midwest.
My experiences at local tourism have taught me that, whether the place you visit is near or far, there are beautiful places to see and to experience. All of these places have stories to tell. They were always there. I just had to be open to hearing them.
For conversation: describe some interesting tourist destinations in your local community.
Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.
Today’s guest is Alice Gerard – a freelance journalist, gardener, blogger, and artist, who lives in western New York in the United States, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. She is currently engaged in a 52-week photography project and is writing a novel. You could catch her blog and connect on Facebook Twitter too.