What Happens When You Aren’t A Tourist?

I Am Not A Tourist

I Am Not A Tourist.

I read about Booger Red’s a few days before I left home and decided it would be among the first places I visited when I reached town. It was an arbitrary decision based upon a name that caught my eye and a desire to not be the untourist in my new city.

What it means is that I decided that when I got to town I was going to hit the ground running and start to soak up the sights and scenes. I wanted to establish a connection and a familiarity with everything sooner than later.

Part of doing that requires visiting the “touristy” stuff with the knowledge I don’t have to do it all in one fell swoop because I am not a tourist. I live here.

Three Big Words

I live here.

Those are three big words, massive. They are part of setting the tone and starting things off in the right fashion.

It doesn’t mean that I am not an Angeleno or that I am going to forget where I come from. I will always bleed Laker purple and gold and Dodger blue. Los Angeles is always my home and there may come a day when I will return for more than just a visit.

But I can’t straddle the fence and say this is a temporary situation. All that is temporary is living out of a suitcase and that won’t last much longer.

The Untourist

So I am spending much of my free time as the untourist doing the tourist thing and seeing the sights. I am scouting out places to take the family and learning how to get around.

After two days of driving around I am starting to feel like I have a decent sense of where I am in relationship to everything else. It is not perfect and I am sure I’ll continue to get lost but that is part of how you learn your way around.

It also makes me wonder about how many things and experiences I never did/had back home. I am confident in saying I covered the big ones and that I have been to most places that the tourists like to visit around Los Angeles.

Farmers Market, Hollywood Bowl, Westwood, the beach, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland and all of the other theme parks that stretch out to San Diego are covered. I know them all because I have been to each multiple times.

Hit a ton of the other stuff small and big that weren’t mentioned here as well, but there have to be things that I didn’t get to.

Truth is you can’t get to everything and it is kind of silly for me to try and fit a lifetime of experiences here into three days but that is just how I roll.

(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Pingback: The Value of Reference Points

  2. Tim Bonner February 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Hey there Josh

    Booger Red’s sounds cool. It reminds me that I’ve not been out for a beer in absolutely ages! I’m wishing I was meeting you for a beer there now.

    This is my second stint in Edinburgh. I came here to study Music at university way back and now my family and I are back here since 2005.

    I love Edinburgh but it’s funny; I rarely go into the city these days and it’s such a wonderful awe-inspiring place. I only live 5 miles along the coast from the centre so I really must go and do some touristy things again soon!

    • Josh February 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Tim,

      I would love that. It would be a pleasure to grab a pint with you.

      I am not sure if I knew you studied music. What do you play? I don’t know how to play anything, but I sure love listening to music.

      I’ll second the motion to encourage you to go do touristy things. There probably are some really cool things just waiting for your attention.

      • Tim Bonner February 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

        I haven’t played an instrument seriously in years but when I did, I played the flute and piano.

        Many things have changed since then and if I could do things again, I would have driven myself harder to find work in the classical music field when I left university.

        I plan on teaching the kids the piano when they’re a little older. It can be a great release for frustration and tension.

  3. Kaarina Dillabough February 4, 2013 at 6:46 am

    It’s amazing how a change of scenery helps us remember the things we perhaps weren’t drinking in when in our own, everyday environment. Seeing the remarkable in the unremarkable is something that my photography does for me. Happy trails as you untourist your way around. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Josh February 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Kaarina,

      Ever since I left LA I have noticed a million different things that made me want to stop and look at which probably means there are 5 million different pictures I have missed out on.

      But it hasn’t prevented me from noticing the things that are new and different to me. I imagine that what is normal to some feels exotic to others.

      It is a fun experience to have.

  4. Jayme Soulati February 4, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I’m so excited to hear more about your launch to a new pit stop on the journey of professional accomplishments. Your approach is spot on; you live there, you’re not doing a project and running home. GO! Happy for you.

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