Why You Should Be A Tourist In Your Town

*First, shameless self-promotion time: Check out my latest piece for USA Today College called “Five Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College.” Thanks! Now, carry on:

I’ve lived in my city for most of my life, and sometimes it feels like I’ve seen everything there is to see. While in some ways this is true, I’ve also realized that living someplace as an adult is different from growing up there as a child. For instance, we have a beautiful art museum in my town. I used to go there for school field trips, and would perform in a holiday concert there in high school. However, I hadn’t been back as a real live adult, living on my own and all. A few weekends ago, my mom and I decided to check out an exhibit they were having at the museum. It was really amazing. I had forgotten what a beautiful museum it is, and was impressed with the caliber of the art work. Though I drive past this place several times a week, it had just started to blend into the background for me. Actually going there and spending time looking around made me feel like I was living in a new place, and seeing this museum for the first time.

Then this past weekend, we went to an AHL hockey game. The team was in the semi-finals, so the whole place was loud and into it. Again, I had gone to a hockey game once when I was roughly 8 with my across-the-street neighbor. I hadn’t been back since. It was a completely different experience going back there as a grown up. I had a great time, and am looking forward to going again with Chris as they head to the finals.

Though I’m not a major hockey fan, it was a 90-degree day, so sitting inside in the cool arena was refreshing. Also, I love any kind of fights in sports, so I realized that this was my game. Lots of punching and spitting out of teeth and whatnot.  I actually got REALLY into it. It certainly beat going to the same bars we always go to, or hanging out watching TV. I took this picture during the game:


They had a little pre-party outside beforehand, which is where this was taken:


If you’ve lived someplace for a long time, I highly suggest breaking out of your normal rut and checking out other activities that your area has to offer. If there was a museum you always got dragged to as an antsy third-grader, go back and check it out as an adult. You may find that you have a whole new appreciation for it (and your city as a whole) when you’re not a little kid anymore.

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