As someone who writes about travel, I have to admit that I frequently feel the pangs of travel envy. So much so that I take breaks from Instagram because of that feeling that everyone is doing something cool except me. I’m sure everyone feels this at some point or another since most of us don’t spend the majority of our lives on vacation. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments where everyone can be a tourist in their towns or cities.
This past weekend I set out with my sister and her boyfriend on a boat cruise of Lake Austin, which oddly enough, is part of the Colorado River. So, it’s not really a lake. My sister bought tickets from Groupon, and the boat was one of those barge-like boats with an upper deck. So not super fancy but not quite a party boat, though I’m sure sometimes they use it as one.
Seeing the city from a new perspective was interesting and overall enjoyable, though it did give me mixed feelings. The MC on the boat (yes, there was an MC) pointed out that most of Austin’s skylines were made up of expensive condo buildings, banks and hotels. Having lived in mostly eastern cities with historic skylines for most of my adult life, this seemed more depressing than anything. I’ve never quite lived in an up-and-coming city, hungry for money, change, people and a new skyline. That being said, Austin is a really, really great place to live. The downtown isn’t exactly “my” Austin, but it is part of Austin. And that’s part of being a tourist in my city, seeing new things from a new perspective.
I think it’s healthy to have mixed feelings about anywhere. No where is all good or all bad, though hopefully you’re seeing mostly the good if you are actually on vacation. I really like Austin, and there’s definitely been times where I saw myself living here forever, but part of me is itching to go somewhere new. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of this crazy town. In other words, I’m saving up memories for when I’ll be missing it later.