The past few days, I’ve been a tourist in my own town.

Everyone should try it …

My family and I strolled into the city centre, walked along the riverbank, took photos of some paper lanterns being prepared for that night’s Moon Lantern Festival, and enjoyed a mandatory coffee ‘n cake. Then my son Able and I hopped into one of those darn paddleboats and pedalled ourselves around on the lake for a while. Sweet.

The next day, we all piled into the car and headed to a well known seaside destination, the haunt of tourists and graduation parties. We crossed a bridge to Granite Island which lived up to its name and provided plenty of stunning rocks, lookouts and coastline to explore.
We even got down on our haunches and discovered a Little Penguin holed up in its nest. [We were quiet and gently retreated .. don’t worry].
The only thing to mar the experience was, well … the real tourists.
There were large groups of overseas visitors, clearly very excited by the experience, all speaking at the top of their voices and loudly directing the numerous photographs they were snapping. Lots of shouted commands, squealing and barking at each other. It was really irritating!
Which got me to thinking about tourism and travellers in general.
How do the people of hotspot like Paris or Hawaii feel? How do they cope with the influx of people who trample over their homes, voraciously taking pictures, picking apart the location, voicing their opinions? It must be hard. But I guess that’s the price they pay for having a piece of the tourism industry.
So what would you prefer – a piece of the tourism industry, or peace of mind?