Paula I Arraiza

The Beauty in Tourists Attractions

Type of Progym: Proverb

“Ferocious denigration of tourists is in part an attempt to convince oneself that one is not a real tourist”

When traveling, many of us tend to do our best to separate ourselves from other tourists. We long to have the most unique and real experiences and take pride in these once back in our home country. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all take part in this. Whether it be something as simple as avoiding Starbucks and going to a local café for local coffee or exploring underrated sights instead of tourist-filled ones. We love to come back home with a unique story to tell our friends and family. As the author said, we do this to convince ourselves that we are not real tourists, that instead, we lived like locals as much as possible. However, it’s truly impossible to immerse yourself in a country if you’re only in it for a short period of time. There’s nothing wrong with admitting to yourself you’re a tourist and doing “touristy” things. After all, you’re there to explore new sights, and these all don’t have to be completely unknown to other tourists. Yes, there’s something beautiful about having a completely unique experience to other tourists, but we should let them happen on their own instead of looking for them. For example, one of my favorite memories, in general, is going to the Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg. While Saint Petersburg is a highly visited city, and the Peterhof Palace is extremely popular, there was still something special about it. While many people, myself included, would hate standing in between thousands of tourists with their maps and selfie sticks, this time I didn’t feel the same way. The architecture was beautiful, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, or the fact that I was in a country so far away from home. Even though we rode the metro and ate at amazing local places where the servers barely spoke English, this is still the memory that stuck with me the most. There’s something amazing about standing in front of a well-known tourist attraction, or “marks” as Culler calls them, and taking it all in for a moment, feeling astonished and grateful for the fact that you made it there.

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