Avoid Becoming The Incredible Hulk This Tourist Season
Seek and ye shall find, right? So we go to the far ends of the earth seeking the unique, the original, the personal. So what happens when, after you spend weeks ripping through travel sites finding your next off-the-beaten-track destination, you step out of the plane and into a mob of tourists, smack in the middle of a crowd full of sunburns, tube socks, and cameras? That’s not at all what “ye” was seeking, at all.
Before you go all Incredible Hulk on us, I suggest a quick chill-out session. This time of year is tourist season in the majority of the world. Prices are on the rise, lines for museums and concerts snake around for miles, and you could (and most likely will) find yourself in the midst of it all. Yeah, it sucks and is definitely not what you expected, but it’s not the end of the world.
Suzy Guese enlightened me, on her blog, that when you feel like turning green and ripping off your shirt, remember there are some things you can take advantage of, despite the obnoxiousness of tourist season. She is currently living in Florence, Italy, and has a first row seat to this phenomenon. After experiencing the winter lows (both people and prices), she is now completely immersed in the high season, and she’s reminding us to “embrace these people rather than complain of their existence.”
The most important tip she has: you rediscover travel wonder all over again. At first glance, I kind of blew it off. Then she hit me with this hammer:
Look at the faces of tourists. They are most likely ones of wonder and awe. They are appreciating what they see. I casually pass by the Boboli Gardens everyday. The massive Palazzo Pitti sits just down the road. Looking at tourists stop and stare makes me stop and stare at something I already have noticed. Travel involves revisiting places and revisiting the wonder that fills throughout those destinations. With tourists, I tend to not lose my travel innocence.
Cheers, Suzy, for helping out a fellow traveler realize there may be some value in battling the crowds. That, and not turning into a giant muscle-bound green cartoon man, either.
Published on June 17, 2010