Who are domestic tourists?

Defining the Domestic Tourist

So, who are domestic tourists? Well, that's a great question as many misunderstand the term. I'll tell you what, a few Sundays ago, I decided to take my two lively kids, Lyle and Darcy, for a surprise outing to a heritage site that’s just over an hour's drive away from where we live. Yes, my dear readers, we didn't book any decade-long flight to Egypt or fight-off jet lag in Japan; we simply fired up our good ol' station wagon and decided to explore our own land. By doing that, we unknowingly wore the hat of 'domestic tourists'.

Domestic tourists, contrary to some beliefs, aren't folks confined to their sofas, ogling at 'Travel and Living' channels and gorging on cheese popcorn, no. They are daring adventurers who explore the diverse attractions within their own backyard, their home country.

They say home is where the heart is, and whether you're sunbathing at the local town beach or hiking the country's tallest mountain, being a domestic tourist often reveals there's still much to fall in love with, right on your doorstep.

Benefits of Being a Domestic Tourist

We often associate 'being a tourist' with embarking on lavish foreign trips wearing wide brim hats, sipping cocktails while trying to master foreign vocabularies. But, let me tell you, playing tourist in your own country can sometimes be even more rejuvenating and fulfilling, in ways you might not have considered.

Last summer, my spouse, Alyssa, and I, in a spur-of-the-moment decision, embarked on a trip around our great land. We discovered marvels in hidden corners, tasted local delights, and basked in the beauty of our country's landscapes. Sometimes, it was just about experiencing a different local scene or understanding our shared past at a historical monument. I admit, during my school days, history was not my best pal, but seeing the tangible history during our expedition made me appreciate it in a whole new way.

Moreover, domestic tourism often proves cost-effective. No extortionate international flight fares or hefty overseas data charges. Also, it significantly reduces the environmental impact of your vacations, contributing to responsible and sustainable tourism.

Thrills of the Unconventional

If you're wondering whether domestic tourism can offer as much thrill and excitement as any international trip, let me assure you that, it certainly can! Around six months back, Alyssa, kids, and I, set out on a challenge to discover some unconventional tourist spots in our own state. And oh boy, were we surprised! We stumbled upon eccentric car museums, spook-tastic ghost towns, and even a charming, illegal-but-well-loved, turtle racing event.

Domestic travel is a never-ending treasure hunt with delightful surprises awaiting any corner. The fun simply escalated when our parrot, Lucy, mimicked pedestrian accents from different regions. The hilarity that ensued still leaves us cackling!

Exploring Home through Different Perspectives

It's a weird but delightful feeling to tour your own hometown, pretending to be clueless tourists. You tend to appreciate the little things that you would normally take for granted. The clock tower downtown seems more majestic, the local pizza shop tastes more delectable, and even the constant chattering of Lucy seems more profound. (I wonder if Lucy feels the same while touring with us.)

It's like rekindling a romantic relationship with your city that might have been taken for granted in the daily hustle-bustle. Like spotting a hidden mole on Alyssa's neck during our spring picnic under the cherry blossoms, rediscovering your own habitat tends to throw scenarios, angles, and aspects you had previously overlooked.

The Ever-Evolving Faces of Domestic Tourism

While domestic travel seems like an old hat, it's anything but stagnant. The faces of domestic tourism are ever-evolving. From eco-tourism to staycations, from glamping to heritage trails, domestic tourism is constantly reinventing itself to offer fresh and exciting experiences.

A couple of winters ago, our family decided on a staycation. The idea was to shop local, eat local, and do everything local. Although Max, our Golden Retriever, was a bit confused with our unusual enthusiasm for commonly visited spots, he hopped along, enjoying the extra attention from the local pet shop owner.

So, my adventurous readers, next time you're thinking of quenching your wanderlust, do consider being a domestic tourist. It may not always offer the exotic allure of foreign lands, but can bring its own sense of discovery, pride and even fun, in exploring the familiar through a different lens.

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