Are y’all ever amazed by the misconceptions people have about the place where you live? I am constantly flabbergasted by how people perceive The Lone Star State and its residents.
I was talking to an on-line friend from New York. She was under the impression that, because I am from Texas, I am a “cowgirl” . Let me set the record straight: I can ride a horse –if it is old, and blind, and very docile — and if someone will give me a “leg-up” to the stirrups. I live in a metropolitan area, we have paved roads, and we have indoor plumbing. I do not live on a ranch.
I asked her, “If you were coming to Texas for a vacation, what attractions would you go to see?”
“Umm,” she stammered. “The Alamo?”
“That’s good for a start. What else?” I asked.
“Uh — isn’t there a space center there?” she said.
“Yes, there is the NASA Space Center in Houston. What else?”
“I don’t know … are there museums in Dallas?”
“Yes, we even have the ‘Cockroach Hall of Fame.'”
I almost laughed at her ignorance of Texas, but then I realized that if I went to New York City, I’d only be able to list: see a Broadway play, go to Radio City Music Hall, and visit the Empire State Building. If you are talking New York State, all I could list is: New York City.
I know if I went there that there would be interesting and fun things to see. I know that the tourist traps don’t really give the “flavor” of a city or a state. But, without a guide who knows the area, how would I ever find the interesting, funky things that I like?
I’ve decided that on Saturdays, I’m going to start posting a series called “My Neck Of The Woods.” Each Saturday, I will post about something in my area, or in my state, that a tourist passing through the area might not know to find.
Perhaps I’ll talk about restaurants (other than the ubiquitous Olive Garden), or a vintage store. Maybe I’ll list a small town that people wouldn’t find when driving the interstate. I can even list festivals or small town museums. I’ll look for local bed and breakfast inns, or family friendly parks, hiking trails, and more. I’ll be looking for anything that would interest me as a traveler, and hope it might interest someone else.
I invite y’all to join me in that. As bloggers, we are in a unique position to get our opinions out on the internet for all the world to see. I think it would be fantastic to have a whole list of resources from around the country (or for that matter, the world!). If we post, we could add links to other bloggers who are posting about their own home towns.
Three things I’ll ask of you, if you decide to post:
- Talk about something that you have visited, so you can give a first-hand review of it for the readers.
- Title it “My Neck Of The Woods [+ the name of the attraction or the town],” and tag it with “travel” and your state, so people could track them all on the internet.
- Come back to my own posting for that Saturday to let me know, so we can share links.
Now, I’m going to suggest that you not “fire all your guns at once.” If there are several attractions in your area, then you have fodder for several different posts. Yes, if you want to talk about a big tourist attraction, give us the scoop on it. Give us tips on parking or discounts or on anything else a traveler would need to know.
You aren’t a blogger, but you have something to share? Leave a comment on Saturdays, and folks will see it. Don’t think you have anything to talk about? Well, here’s your chance to look at the world around you with “new eyes.” I hope some of y’all will join me with this. I’d love to hear about your “Neck of the Woods.”