There’s No Place Like Home
It has been said that a prophet has no honor in his own country and I now say that a tourist attraction has no love in its own city. Well, maybe “no love” is extreme but I believe that locals rarely visit the attractions in their cities unless they are hosting out-of-town guests.
I’ll give an example. I am planning a vacation to New York and when I ask my Big Apple friends what to do, although they are New York natives, they are not a lot of help. “What do you think of the Empire State building,” I asked one of them.
“I don’t know,” he said, “I’ve seen it, I’ve even walked past it, but I’ve never been.”
“You know,” I told him, “millions of people a year come from around the world to visit that building.”
“Yeah,” he laughed, “we call them tourists.”
He also told me he only went to the Statue of Liberty once, when he was a student, and, because he doesn’t like theater he has never seen a Broadway play. So I’m left wondering how this guy is my friend.
Even though he couldn’t help me as a tour guide, he did get me thinking about my own relationship with my city’s crown jewels. I live in San Diego, California, land of sunshine and
surf. The last time I went to the beach was for a school trip. I can’t remember the time before that. And I haven't visited Sea World in a decade or more and that was because of a work event.
I understand that my two examples are not enough to draw a conclusion. Maybe I don’t go to the beach or the aquarium because I have something against fish. Maybe my New Yorker friend has a fear of heights. And, so I am reaching out to you to increase my sample size. Do you visit the tourist attractions in your city or town? Have you ever played the tourist at home? Leave a comment below and let me know.