"You look like a tourist!"

new yorker island tourist august 5.jpg

Expats who explore everything their new country has to offer have an easier time adjusting than those who stick to basic routines of staying at home-going to work-coming back home. Venturing beyond the obligatory tourist attractions facilitates a deeper cultural experience and broader layers of understanding.

Meet more locals, eat more food, try a new hobby.

I invite you this week to look at the town you're living in with the eyes of a tourist. Even if it's your hometown you never left - what could you do to freshen things up? I don't do this enough myself, e.g. I've lived near Dallas since 2007 and have yet to visit the 6th floor museum. I waited for friends to visit me to go to a rodeo or the Southfork Ranch, made famous by the 80s TV show. 

For some reason, not being considered a tourist was super important to me while living in Barcelona. Many Germans who visit the Catalan capital leave a bad impression, so I wanted to make sure not to be lumped in with them. Also, once I got settled, every-day life took over, and just because the beach was there didn't mean I had to go see it every day. I knew it would still be there tomorrow. 

But, really, what's so wrong with looking like a tourist? We're all just temporarily on this planet anyway - our time is limited, so maybe we can squeeze a little more joy out of it. Embrace your inner tourist, treat life like a vacation, dust off your sense of wonder, let your curiosity roam free, and have some fun today!