Being a Tourist vs. a Local

Santa Croce, Florence

I have an obsession with being a local. Wherever I travel, I want to blend in so well that I could be mistaken for a local. As you can imagine, that works well in some countries, and not at all in others! When I’m in Italy, it’s a little easier since I speak Italian and I lived there for a year and a half. I get a deep sense of gratification when others mistake me for an Italian (or a Brazilian when I’m living in Brazil) but there’s always a level of frustration.

I feel a little cramped. A little less free because I’m always wondering what others are thinking. If I “make the cut” or I’m just another lousy tourist.

Traveling in Italy for 3 weeks last month changed my perspective. I stayed in my adopted hometown of Firenze (Florence) for one week. I stayed in the apartment I used to live in when I studied and worked in Florence a few years ago. I did my “local thing.” Went grocery shopping. Visited my friends’ houses. Went to my favorite restaurants and coffee spots. This trip, I also had to do a few touristy things to take pictures for my travel company. I visited hotels and talk to them about what they offer for their clientele : tourists.

Some of these hotels had gorgeous views of the Duomo (famous church), adorable rooms, and lots of support and resources on how to enjoy the city.


I realized that there IS something wonderful about being a tourist. Tourists are here to enjoy the BEST that the city has to offer. They see the most beautiful sights and enjoy the uniqueness of the city. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to experience life like the locals do. Living like a local you’ll probably eat better, but I think being a tourist is underrated. Tourists bring life and energy to the city, and sometimes tourists enjoy the city more than the locals do!

Being a local (or a wannabe local), you can miss out on some of the wonderful experiences because they are “touristy.” I know that’s true when I’m in San Francisco. I’ve only been based here for about a year now, but I’ve realized that I’m not taking time to enjoy the city I’m living in.

These days, I’m trying to visit more of the “touristy” areas. It’s actually kinda fun being a tourist. :)

Golden Gate Bridge


Doing What You Love Despite Fear


Lacy Edney

I was having class with my English student today, and he pointed out what I’ve been avoiding and denying for months: I’ve stopped writing.

It’s been my passion, my outlet since I was 12 years old, but somehow I’ve gotten a silly case of writer’s block. I don’t even know if I can call it writer’s block. It seems to be fear and closing myself off from my day-to-day life. It’s artist’s starvation.

In an attempt to get out of this rut, I’m going to be posting short tidbits about my day-to-day life and some inspiration thoughts. Hopefully it will draw my travel stories out of their shells!

How do you work your way out of paralyzing fear? 


The Spartan Proposal

Smoke sputters out of the taxi into the darkness. It’s quiet and the air is humid against my skin as I step out of the cab, somewhere in the middle of this labyrinth that is Athens. I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t feel like Athens here.

Blurring Athens at Night, photo by Flickr user alexcoitus

My dad is nervous to let “his little girl” go. I can see it in his worried dark blue gaze. He shoves extra green bills my way and gives me a big hug as his eyes get glossy. They are off to the airport, back home, back to America.

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Weekend Wisdom: If We Wait Until We’re Ready


Great inspiration to keep you moving towards your dreams. We all get scared sometimes, and that is precisely when we need to face our fear and keep taking those baby steps forward. Cheers!

Originally posted on Life Out of the Box:

LOOTB inspiring quotes: if we wait until we are ready we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives

If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

Photo location: In the air flying from Oaxaca, Mexico back to California

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Why Take an American Road Trip?

driving queenON THE ROAD, USA–

I have to admit that I’ve been a snob. I didn’t grow up traveling in the U.S. and I was proud of it. The majority of my travels had always been international. From North Carolina, it was strictly limited to short drives to South Carolina, Tennessee, and the yearly flights out to Southern California to visit family friends. I’ve spent far more time traveling in the Caribbean, Europe, and South America than in my own country.

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