Can we be tourists in the city we live?

For the past few days, I’ve been listening to a lot of people, who live in Dubai, exploring Dubai like a tourist would. I’m serious- she actually had a few locations listed that I’d only suggested to tourists. And that got me thinking- can we be tourists in the city we live in?

The logical answer to that question is a very simple one, yes. Of course you can. Just decide to do it, and every once in a while, plan and go visit. Go book yourself on for the Burj Khalifa’s top floor and actually do it this time. Sounds pretty easy, right? Nope.

Let’s look at the practical reasoning of what actually happens.

“I need to plan it!”

“Ugh, soon”

“Can you believe I haven’t been yet?”


The lingering thought of later and being too busy will get in the way.

I’ll give you my case for instance. Since I’ve turned 17, I’ve lived in Dubai, Riyadh, Delhi, Jaipur and Pune. I am not counting the places I’ve lived when I was younger than that. I’ve never been to any actual touristy spots in any of these places. I mean, I’ve been living in Dubai for 3 (or 4?) years now and I’m yet to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa, or for coffee at the Burj Al Arab (and that’s pretty stupid on my part, considering the latter is a PR client at the agency I work at!) It’s not a matter of not knowing, because I can sit and do as many itineraries you’d want with customized activities.

Meanwhile, I have traveled often, and I’ve visited every tourist-y spot imaginable there. I mean I even ended up at a flea market in Moscow! I spoke to a few more people in my travels and asked if you’ve seen this or that? You won’t believe the number of people who have only visited the Moscow State Fair on a school trip in grade 5 and never after that!

The practical answer here would be: maybe. Maybe you are that person who’s been to every tourist spot in your city, or maybe you are like me who keeps putting it off for later. Or the next time. Or soon.

It’s a matter of thinking there’s always going to be time to do that later. And in my experience, before you know it, that soon’s passed you by. But, will I ever learn? Only time, and this blog will tell!


Author: Swati Jain

I am the girl who can talk and talk and talk and talk and still continue to talk. The most ideal way to make me heard is to share it with everyone else. I'm not new at this, but I hope to be in a uninterrupted continuation of posting what's on my mind! I hope you enjoy!

6 thoughts

  1. I think you’re right, that the planning is what makes it hard. It’s so easy to plan a trip to an exotic new place, but planning to visit “home” sometimes seems + feels silly. Plus, it’s easy to put it off until later. I have a handful of things I want to “tour” at home – granted, I’m not from as exciting of a city as Dubai and years later I still haven’t done it. So here’s to us making the most of our hometowns, right?! Cheers!


  2. Love the Article Swati, It is so true. As Dubai residents we always end up putting off going to these places because for us there is always tomorrow and somewhere or something more important to go and do. Keep up the good work 😉 And maybe visit the Burj Al Arab!

    Liked by 1 person

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