I have a friend that lives in Aruba. I have never been to Aruba but I already know it is a place I would love to visit. Pristine white sand beaches, clear blue water and warm sunny days.
Just the image of a place like that makes me want to pack my bags and catch a plane. Aruba get tons of tourists each year seeking out tropical paradise.
My friend who lives there hates it.
Unlike people like me, that love nothing better than lounging around on a tropical beach, my friend can’t wait to leave. He says Aruba is too laid back, the Wi-Fi sucks, not much in the way of opportunities and get this. The weather is always the same.
He longs for snow, a big city and lots of hustle and bustle.
I do some freelance writing and recently wrote an article for a client about a destination. The article received lots of comments on the clients Facebook page. Most from people that lived there. Now the article stated while the place in question was big and lots of traffic and some places no so nice, it was actually a great place. The article went on to say how there was great nightlife, historical places to see and tons of things to do.
Feeling proud of myself I visited the Facebook page a couple of days after the article was published only to read how I was clueless and the place I wrote about was terrible. Mind you most of the comments were from people that lived there. The comments stated that I didn’t know what I was talking about and no one in their right mind would visit there having other choices.
This got me thinking, I know sometimes I’m slow. My own home town is nothing special. In fact it has some of the worst traffic in the US. It takes forever to get anywhere because of the traffic. I don’t think there is much to see, in fact I rarely venture downtown because, well, it just sucks.
But for some reason people that don’t live where I do like visiting here. I read blogs, magazine articles and other things about what my city has to offer, the great restaurants and things to do and see.
I remember a few years ago I was traveling in the Czech Republic and decided to take a break and grab a beer at a little bar. I struck up a conversation with a person working there and after a few minutes they told me how lucky I was to be traveling around and visiting all the places I had seen. In the next sentence they told me how they wish they could travel and, if I remember correctly, “leave this crappy place”.
Now here I was, one of thousands of people that journey to see the many cultural and historical sites of the Czech Republic, enjoying a great extended trip, only to hear that someone that lived there thought it was a crappy place.
I guess it’s just human nature to take for granted what you already have.
People plan and save to travel so they can experience new places, people and things. Maybe if they spent just a little time looking at where they live through the eyes of a visitor they might experience something new without having to catch a plane.
Maybe I will take some time and explore where I live.