Can you believe August is almost over? Between our trip to Chicago last weekend and the dog days of summer finally curing up on the couch next to us, we were inspired to take a look at our own city through the eyes of visitors. Enter a sunset cruise around Boston Harbor. Yes, we’ve lived in the Boston area for almost six years now, and though we’ve done activities like walking the Freedom Trail, heading to the Skywalk at the top of the Prudential Building, and walking around the Public Garden during the holidays during our first years in the city, our ‘tourist’ activities have subsided in recent times. This weekend, we were inspired to soak up some of the last rays of summer from an amazing tourist location, the upper deck of a cruise boat in Boston Harbor.
Here are five things acting like a tourist in your own city can teach you
- There are still facts you can learn: Did you know that 75% of Boston is built on man made land? Neither did we. Taking tours, seeing local exhibits at museums, and listening to the sights and sounds at popular spots can teach you about the history of your city, explain some unique cultural behaviors, and educate you about how others in the world can perceive you based on where you live. It’s eye opening to hear a tour guide describe Bostonians as a fiercely prideful group of people who are passionate about their city. We are, and it’s good to know that others will now know that.
- It can give you fresh perspectives: Living in the same place for too long can dilute the rose-colored glasses you originally saw your city through. The uniqueness becomes common and the commonalities can become dull. For instance, the Green Monster becomes just another wall, the Charles River is just some water you see on the way to work, and the skyline becomes overlooked. Taking a tour of Fenway, kayaking on the Charles, or heading to the top of the Pru reminds you of why you moved to your home to begin with–it inspired you! Refresh your perspectives.
- You can financially support your local economies: What better reason to give back to the upkeep of you town in some way than splurge on a tourist experience? More than likely, visitors to your city help keep your city vibrant, fun, clean, and safe. Contribute back in a way where you can also have fun (instead of the other less fun ways, like you know, taxes).
- It fosters pride for the experiences you have: The TD Garden, Boylston Street, and the new Innovation District may be locations us Bostonians are used to seeing, but remembering that the Garden houses our 17 banners for the Celtics, Boylston commemorates the Boston Marathon finish line, and the Innovation District is also home to Lawn on D and some of the most beautiful Boston accents in the city can reignite that pride for your city. Take those tours to feel special and relive those memories that make you that prideful city-ite.
- Cities have tourist activities for a reason: Some of the best views, smells, sights, and sounds can be found at tourist locations. Yes, the crowds may flock there, but these areas are what make your city special. Knowing that these spots are why people want to visit is great, meeting people who have never visited the city and telling of spots they may not have considered, even better. If you have the patience, head to these areas and talk to people. It’s the best way to show others why you love where you’re at.