Touristy On Your Own Turf
One of the many murals in the small town of Brenham, Texas
Gadabout Tiff here! I've had the good fortune of "being touristy on my own turf" in seven cities in the past thirty years. It is something I've gotten really good at over the years.
My husband and I met in the Air Force in Wichita Falls, Texas. Jeff is a native Texan. I am from Ohio. (I like to say I am a yankee with southern roots). We've lived in Florida, Mississippi, Ohio and now Texas.
My home is always open to our family and friends scattered across the United States! I enthusiastically go into tour guide mode anytime I have visitors. I never want my guests to be bored when they come visit me!
I understand that I have become toursity on my turf out of necessitiy. Quite frankly, I've been surprised that most people are totally unaware of the treasures I find in our community. Let me encourage you to discover what your community has to offer by being toursity on your own turf. Developing a list of hot spots, activities and events to share with my family and friends is fun!
Where do you start?
Are there any Rick Steves fans reading our travel diary? I used to watch Rick Steves's PBS tv show religously. He always recommended visiting the Vistor's Bureau when you arrive in a new city. Great advice!
First of all, they have tons of great brochures to take home. To this day I keep brochures of my favorite destinations on hand. My guests usually have several great ideas to choose from. I have also created an iteneray for them with the brochures. Either way, my family and friends usually have a great time!
Being touristy with brochures
As much as I love a brochure in my hand, most Visitor Bureaus and Chamber of Commerces know the importance of accessible information online. I check the community calendar regularly and sign up for their email list to stay in the loop! Even in small towns there are an abundance of community events, concerts, farmers markets, etc.
I'm not talking about social media! Get to know a community by visiting the destinations in the brochures. I love questioning local store owners about what they like to do on their free time. Local coffee houses, community events, concerts, farmers markets, and the library are great spots to find out what's going on too. There are always great posters on upcoming events!
Big Cities usually have papers that are free to take in grocery stores and shopping areas. I've noticed that many are transitioning to an online version. I used to grab the Houston Press at my local coffee house, which is now an online newspaper. In Westerville, Ohio I enjoyed having ThisWeek Community News delivered to my home. These free publications are always a great resource for community events and destinations.
Social Media is a wonderful way to stay connected to your community! I "like" Facebook pages and "follow" Instagram accounts of community businesses. Going straight to the soical media page is the fastest way to find information.
Get out and explore!
Now that you have abundant resources, get out and explore! With a little detective work, anyone can fill their social calendar, create an iteneray for guests, or plan a staycation. Finally, don't forget to share what you discover! I'd love to read what you learn about your turf. Maybe the Gabaoutgals need to visit?