Monday, 2 June 2014

Be a tourist in your own town

Last night after dinner we headed down to the beach - it's about a 20 minute drive so not too far.  For once there was actually another family with children there.  Very often it's just us, fishermen and dog walkers.  We can never understand why the beaches aren't packed, then we drive home past rows of houses with flickering lights from TV screens showing through the windows.  Perhaps for these folks who have grown up with the sea behind their houses they have just got familiarity blindness and don't appreciate the coast in the way they would if they were down for the day from London?

One of the things that made me surprised when we used to take teenagers on geography and geology fieldwork locally was how many of them had spent more time on beaches abroad than they had the one on their doorstep.  It's not just beaches though, it's all the parks, museums, woods and wetlands of the area that people who've lived here their whole lives have never visited.

Perhaps I'm lucky then for two reasons.  The first is that I have parents who liked to take us out and about, as does Matt, so it's a natural thing for us to do.  The other is that I moved around a fair bit as a child and also as an adult, so we were always newcomers to each area, exploring places with the eyes of a tourist.  I hope we always keep that feeling of enjoying our town as much as the tourists do.