It’s been a little more than 2 months since I’ve arrived in London and I can officially say that I’m no longer a tourist. I took the time to Google the definition of tourist just to make sure and it stated, “a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure”. Obviously, living in London has been pleasurable but I think if you have read any of my earlier posts, you’d see it has become much more than that.
So how did I come to the conclusion that I am no longer a tourist? Well, it all started when my mom came to visit a few weeks ago. Being that this was her first time in London, I had to take her to all of the well known spots like the palaces, Big Ben, London Bridge, Change of the Guard etc. And as I was doing that, I noticed that I was showing her around like a local would rather than someone who would just say, “Oh yeah, I visited here once”. It was such a great feeling to show her all the places that I had been sending her pictures of.
My mom was so surprised with how acquainted I was with the city and how I managed to get us around without getting lost a single time. I was able to provide her with personal stories and random fun facts about some of the places we visited. As I took her to all the touristy spots, I began to think about when I first visited these places and how in awe I was and now I just look at it, sigh, and think, “Yups, I live here :)”. Another reason why I no longer consider myself a tourist is because one of my favorite things to do in London is find little hole in the wall spots. Some of the best and even reasonably priced cafes are spots that are not that well known. And the cutest stores are in the most non-touristy neighborhoods. You just have to keep an eye out for the hidden gems of London and you’d be pleasantly surprised.
As Andrew Zimmern said, “Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in”, and I don’t think I could have said it any better.