We are so quick to stomp on technology, especially when we perceive it as anti-social…this whole anti-social social media thing that irks some people. I can understand where they would be bothered; when you see nothing but zombies walking around staring at their palm-sized screens, it’s hard to understand how they could possibly be humanly connected to anything or anyone. You could be right! But you could also be wrong. Let me blather on a wee bit longer and I promise I will get to my point.
If you’re like me, then you recognize the ache that comes when you’ve been in one place too long; that tiny tick in your mind when you’ve not had a change of scenery in months and you’re constantly, desperately on the lookout for something to placate this feeling. It’s not always possible to just book the next trip; time and money are not that kind to us. I often come across the suggestion of “Be a tourist in your own city”. Okay…that’s way easier said than done. For one, it can be expensive, not to mention getting into the tourist frame of mind is quite difficult when you see these same streets and corners every day. You might be wondering what this thought has to do with the previous mention of becoming social media zombies.
I have figured it out people! Today, unintentionally, I discovered how to be a tourist in my own city, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so looking forward to my lunch hour tomorrow so I can do it again! I need a name for it…Helen’s Instantaneous Tourism Strategy (HITS! Brilliant.) All you need is…
- A smart phone with a camera
- The Snapchat app
- A friend or relative who lives in a different country and who also has Snapchat. Optional but highly recommended; this will enhance your HITS experience tenfold!
Ugh! Snapchat? Really? Yes! I will explain.
Snapchat is in the moment. Shutter button. Send. Video. Send. Basically, it’s live; quick pictures and short captions. I shared my lunch hour with Emma, from Calgary to England and felt like she was there with me! She was able to open these images and videos seconds after I hit send and react to them in real time. Enjoying the same things I was enjoying and I understood it all through a tourist’s point-of-view. At the same time, I am sharing my daily routine with a long-distance friend and it forced me to realize how fortunate I am to work in the heart of downtown Calgary. That is why I think Snapchat is the right platform for my new strategy…I mean HITS.If you don’t have an international friend or family member, you can still post your photos and videos to the “My Story” section of your Snapchat account. That way, anyone who has added you to Snapchat will be able to see all the fun, domestic adventures you got up to!
I have found that people in some other countries have perfected the art of domestic tourism. They take pride in what their own country has to offer and feel just as enthusiastic about visiting local attractions as they do about visiting international ones. We should embrace that attitude and be excited about where we live…even if it’s just to keep the travel bug at bay.