With family in town these past few days, I have had the amazing opportunity of becoming a tourist in my hometown. When I was forced to come up with fun activities that did not involve going to work, running errands, going to a friends house or doing something so generic and to be honest boring in the town that I grew up in, I realized that maybe I did not know my town at all.
Being born and raised in one place, for me Denver, Colorado, you tend to forget the amazing things that make your town so special. Destinations and tourist attractions seem to get lost in your memories of fourth grade field trips and tedious family car rides to the mountains. However, rediscovering the very things that make your hometown unique and wonderful is both a grounding and eye-opening experience that I am so happy I got to enjoy.
I was able to spend an entire day in one of my favorite mountain towns, Glenwood Springs. After going to my favorite coffee shop there, The Bluebird Cafe and spending hours in the the town's famous hot springs, I felt so peaceful and nostalgic. Returning to one of my favorite places at home brought back so many fond memories and made me realize how lucky I was to have made them.
I got to spend the next day with my family in downtown Denver, at the Rockies game. I had forgotten how long it had been since I had actually been to the city for the day, and going down 16th Street Mall reminded me of watching fireworks on New Year's Eve and finding parking spots for prom pictures and taking pictures in Writer's Square with my friends. I realized that the places where people travel to see are the places that I grew up in, the places where my childhood took place. It's easy to forget these moments between school and sports and sleepovers but sometimes little things happen in big places.
Going around my city with the eyes of a tourist taught me what an entire year away from home didn't- I have a lot of different memories here in a lot of wonderful places, and it really does feel nice to be home.