How To Feel A Part of A City, While Being A Tourist

January 26th, 2018
Location  •   Knox-Henderson, TX

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2018 is our year of travel and I know I’ve probably already stated that about fifteen times, but Matt and I are sooooo excited to travel as much as possible this year and to bring you all along. As some of you might know, Matt was assigned to work as an account manager in a Dallas office for two years, and with only six months left, we are really trying to cram in as many experiences as possible, before settling down back in New England.  

We kicked off our year of travel first with Central Connecticut, then Vermont and now Dallas. For the next two weeks, our crew will share posts pertaining to our favorite areas, neighborhoods, and restaurants that Dallas has to offer. Before we jump right into traveling guides and itineraries, I’m going to share one of my favorite travel tips with you all, how to feel a part of a city, while being a tourist. 

 I actually learned this trick through experience, when I was studying abroad in Florence. When you’re traveling it is so easy to feel lost or lonely, especially if you are traveling alone or for a long duration of time. I found that having a routine or a spot, that you can go to, to plan your day or finish off some emails each morning really made me feel more settled while traveling. To be honest, I’m by no means a world-traveler, in fact, I would much rather prefer to stay at home, but having this small morning ritual of; waking up, getting dressed, putting on my walking shoes and walking over to a local coffee shop or bakery; was a great way feel a part of whatever city I am in. 

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I kid you not, having a routine and getting outside of your hotel room in the morning and into a local spot, is the key to feeling a sense of belonging and community. First off it’s a great way to see what that culture treats themselves to for breakfast (yummm) and secondly, coffee shops are aesthetically set-up to bring people together in a collaborative environment. Whether you’re traveling alone and want to meet new friends or traveling with a friend and just want to hear the local gossip, coffee shops are a great way to feel out the local scene. 

 So the other morning Matt and I woke up and decided to explore a district of Dallas we had never visited prior. It was a beautiful day in Dallas, almost 70 degrees in January! And when we opened our car doors to the Knox-Henderson district, we could feel the energy and excitement this winter-heatwave had brought upon shoppers and locals. The streets were bustling and after passing about two coffee shops Matt and I decided on the Village Baking Co. Boulangerie. This shop was filled to the brim with a large variety of specialty baked goods and pastries to choose from, it was honestly hard to decide on what to purchase. So hard in fact that I ordered one breakfast croissant and two desserts, oops.  

Matt and I spent almost an hour and a half in the coffee shop talking to the bakers behind the counter and hearing the lengths they take to create such beautiful baked goods. Of course, Matt had to interrogate them about their espresso machine after he asked for an iced coffee and watched them make an Americano, his mind was actually blown. After we were both caffeinated and on a sugar high we departed the Baking Co. and headed outside to enjoy the fresh air and shops the district had to offer. 

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 How To Feel Apart of A City, While Being A Tourist-9050Again, I left the district feeling like I had a chance to feel it out. Maybe I’m odd, but I love figuring out what makes certain city districts unique and how they draw specific types of people in. Maybe that’s just the marketing major in me or maybe I spend too many hours reading books on Facebook Ad Targeting, but seeing how restaurants, coffee shops, and people can transform a small area into a ‘district’ with almost a life of its own, still amazes me to this day. 

Overall the Knox-Henderson district was thriving with a bustling restaurant scene and some amazing storefronts, I was grateful Matt and I had taken the time to get to know a new part of Dallas, well at least a new part for us. We can’t wait to bring you along with us next week for a few more of our favorite districts of Dallas, and until then I’d love to hear how you guys embrace community as a tourist. Leave a comment below, with any tips or ticks and have a great weekend.

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