Bringing Out Your Inner Tourist

All my life one of my biggest fears has been looking like a tourist. In Manhattan I refused to carry around a backpack; I wouldn’t even let myself wear flip-flops on the beach. For years I did not want any stranger thinking I was in a new place for the first time not knowing exactly what I’m doing.

But, in the past two months I have had to come to terms with the fact that I a indeed on a foreign continent, and 70% of the time (maybe a little more) I have no clue what I am doing. And no matter how discreetly you can look at your map or say a couple of phrases in the local language, everyone is still going to know that you are indeed, like most others around you, a tourist.

So my advice is basically to just embrace it—asking someone for directions is better than spending an hour lost, taking a picture is better than just walking by a beautiful view.

And not to mention it is fun! It is fun to take goofy pictures; it is fun to wave at people on the boats passing by. I like carrying around a book about the place I’m going to because then I actually know what I’m looking at, and I have my camera on my wrist at all times ready for anything.

Even around Prague I felt too jaded to do the touristy things, but then my friend came to visit and I had so much fun reading all the sayings on the John Lennon wall and paddelboating and it made me wonder why I don’t do this all the time.

In short, I realized I’m not as cool as I think I am. The second I open my mouth; I know I am not passing for a local anywhere. So embrace how clueless you are, embrace how excited you are to see sights locals see everyday, and you will have fun.IMG_1938 IMG_1911

Anne, English major and Journalism and Environmental Studies minor, is enthused to spend a semester immersed in a different culture. She cannot wait to meet new people, visit new places, and share these experiences with others.

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