You know that feeling the moment you set foot on foreign soil? That feeling where your brain magically forgets anything it’s ever seen before, and everything starts to look beautiful and new? Like for example that faded blue house on the corner in Cozumel suddenly looks so quaint and exciting, and that plant that most definitely grew as weeds near your childhood home suddenly looks like something out of a rainforest? Yeah, that feeling. It’s the best, right? What if you could teach your brain to view everyday life like that, wouldn’t it be magical? To see the mundane through the filter of a tourist’s overly wide-eyed view, wouldn’t that be the life?
Why can’t it be? A few days after I finished mourning the loss of our vacation (yes I swear I will stop talking about this topic soon…maybe next week.) I thought to myself “I want to live life as if I were a tourist!” If you think about it in a philosophical way, we are all tourists here on this beautiful blue planet; but don’t worry, I’m not going there with this post. After that initial thought, I started racking my brain for ways that I could achieve this “permanent mental state of tourist”. What does it take, I wonder?
I live in the 9th largest city in the USA. Dallas is filled to the brim and overflowing with gorgeous architecture, fabulous activities, famous malls and art galleries, and the list goes on. Dallas is one major tourist destination, and yet so often I just view it all through my rearview mirror as I fight through traffic; I forget to appreciate the beauty of it all together. When did I lose my tourists eyes? I’ve only lived here a little over four years. When did I lose them, and how do I get them back? Well, to be honest, I think the best way to get them back is to stop, think, and take in the view. In the awe of silence that a tourist usually feels the first time they set foot in their new destination.
Sometimes it’s really hard to view your everyday surroundings that way, especially the ones you pass on your commute and get really sick of staring at as the clock ticks past when you should have arrived to work. So I started a little smaller. While I never get sick of staring at our gorgeously lit skyline late in the evening, it still wasn’t achieving that tourist feel I’m wanting to capture. Instead, I decided to choose two touristy areas of my city, that I rarely visit ( or have never visited) to go play tourist. I woke Ben up really early one morning and said, “Let’s go be tourists today! I’ve never been to the Mandalay canals, and you’ve never been to the Arboretum. Let’s grab the camera and go! Today! Right now!”. And we did. And it was glorious! I felt, truly like a tourist. My heart was on a high, and everything I saw became magical. I hope I can inspire myself to learn to view my everyday surroundings this way more often because, that day, I truly captured happiness. Go out, explore, and don’t give up until you find something that makes your heart sing. It may be just around the corner!
Disclaimer, I was rather disappointed in Mandalay hence there are almost no photos from there ( I think it probably would have been beautiful in its hay day).