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Every new place I’ve gone to in my (adult) life, I had this urge to BE a local, eat like a local, go where the locals go, do what the locals do. However, on my recent trips, I had a stark realization that I am a tourist. (I know what you’re thinking. NO DUH. Hear me out.) No matter how much research I do (from other tourists, btw), no matter what alley I go down (not recommended unless you’re in a group), I will be a stranger coming to a new place. I will be a tourist in the place I go because that place is not my home. As much as I want to be where local people are, I will inevitably be where tourists are too.

But that’s okay.

I want to see the Eiffel Tower,
I want to eat at Noma,
I want to go to Ha Long Bay,
and so many more things that you will consider “touristy”.

There is a reason why people flock to places and make it that way. It’s because it’s beautiful, highly-regarded and worth seeing (except Time Square, but also I’ve seen it and maybe it’s why I say that. Sorry to call you out, NYC).

Recently, I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time. It is one of the most touristy national parks I’ve been to, but damn, it is beautiful. I ate the expensive cafeteria food, I bought postcards, I did the hikes, I was among tourists (and locals! or frequenters?) and it was great. I would definitely recommend it, I’m definitely coming back to visit and hike it again. I will be a tourist the next time I come with just a little bit more knowledge than before, but a tourist regardless.

We are all touring an unfamiliar land at one point or another, why not throw up that “double peace sign” pose every once in awhile and live life a little (touristy)?

thu texas

It me.

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So I arrived in Oakland//San Fran// Hayward//Bay-area last night at around 11:30PM-ish?
I waved to the wrong car, it’s totally cool.

Today was TOURIST DAY. Lots of walking, lots of talking. Lunching, catching up, and introducing.

kristy thugoeswest

Haven’t seen this girl in 1yr? or more?! Crazy how we’ve kept in touch.

Today was the transitional day. You know, when you get oriented with where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing. I think I’m still orienting myself. I didn’t have to do much in terms of “figuring it out,” so I’m still a bit of a lost puppy. Tomorrow will sort of be the same way, I didn’t realize how many people I actually know who are in this area/coming to this area. It also didn’t come to my attention [until now] that I don’t have much time here either. Time is slut, and on a slightly lighter note, you’re not guaranteed tomorrow…so you know, make the best etc etc etc.

galette 88 thugoeswest

Galette 88. Isn’t that welcoming? I love it.

OH, I have some notes. Let me get my notes *runs to get notes across the room*

  1. We ate lunch at Galette 88. It’s in an alley, but it’s hella nice. They serve crepes.
    PS: There’s woodgrain, white walls, and a chalkboard menu. I felt VERY LOCAL.
  2. I waved to A LOT of Segway Tour people…they didn’t wave back to me.
  3. People queue to get on the BART when it’s time to go home. Civil, much?
  4. I love [good] public transportation. I only hope that one day, Austin will be like that. Dream big.
  5. On the note of public transportation: what would people do without phones? Everyone was glued. I took notes on those people so….
  6. I saw Alcatraz [from afar] today. Also, Fisherman’s Wharf. Also, Boudin. Also, the whole waterfront. Also, the Explorium (Note to self: go there next time). Also, Pier 39. Also, lots of things. Do you get the picture?

Feeling #blessed, and well regular blessed because yeah, I’m very, very lucky. Shit.

P.S. How do y’all like my hair? I want to grow it out, but also short hair is cool. Should it be shorter? I don’t know, travel changes you.