Being a Tourist in a City I Am Calling Home

Ever since I arrived in London, I have been so thrilled to find new places to go. I have been traveling to a few small cities outside London so far, while also exploring all of the wonderful places London has to offer. I have quickly come to notice, though, that true Londoners do not tend to love Americans. As they give us weird looks and consider us all tourists. Some people here are extremely friendly, while others just give you the eye while exploring. So, you may wonder how I am coping with this while I am trying to explore the city. Well my answer to that is easy, simply ignore them. Or at least I wish it was that easy.

When I started sightseeing, I noticed many people tend to watch and judge the tourists. So most people steer clear of the major areas, just because there are tourists around. But, what exactly is so wrong with being a tourist? I mean, who wouldn’t want to see all of the beautiful history of London? From its deep history and beautiful architecture, I can’t help but want to explore. While I am stared at for traveling in large groups to the major sights of London, it is something you have to learn to love. All of the weird stares and looks, it is all completely worth it. I have come to realize that while I am here, I want to see everything I possibly can. Whether I look like a tourist or not.

Queen Victoria’s Statue at Kensington Palace

Next to all of the major sights, including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and the London eye, I want to explore all of the amazing boroughs of London as well. When I came here, I figured there was a few major things to see, and then I would know the city. But, soon did I find out that there is so much more to London than just the big sights. There are the amazing pubs, people, and markets. From Greenwich village to window shopping at Harrods, there is so much more to do and see than just a few historical landmarks. So, it has become my duty to encounter as much of this city as I can while I am here. I figured I would be traveling to other cities most weekends, but as I have fallen more and more in love with London, I have realized I need to soak up as much of the culture as I can while I am here.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

So, yes I am a tourist in the city I have come to call home. But, isn’t that what makes it your home? If you aren’t a tourist at first, you will never come to truly learn the city. Being a tourist is what makes all of the experience so much more special. You have to be able to explore and find your way through the city, before you can truly call it your home. Being able to say you have seen every part of London, and truly embracing their culture, is what makes you become a part of the city. So, this is exactly what I intend to do. I am going to make it a duty to myself while I am here, to make the best of every piece of London whether, that includes being eyed up as a tourist or not! This city has so much to it; how could I let myself miss out on a single piece? So, I’m going to be a tourist and embrace it. Besides, what fun is it to miss out on exploring just because you want to look like a true Londoner? Being a tourist and learning the city is what will make this place one to remember.

Sydney Helphenstine

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