Early Mornings

Usually we’ve been places just a touch too long to really be considered tourists (foreigners: yes, tourists: no), but that hasn’t stopped me from loudly proclaiming “Let’s head down to _______ (fill in random attraction) and pretend to be tourists!”

There’s something freeing about speaking in one’s own language and accent without an overwhelming expectation of “What? You don’t speak exactly like us yet and you’ve been here for HOW long?” The truth is, no, I don’t speak exactly like the locals because:

  • They would be offended if they knew just how bad my attempt at a cockney (or any other) accent was and
  • I’m still me – a unique person with a unique history that does not perfectly match anywhere on this planet, never mind this exact location.

So, on some days I’m a tourist.

For large attractions we go early in the morning and usually on a weekday in order to skip out on the overwhelming crowds of people. There’s something magical about the beginning of a new day and walking freely among history’s monuments – all without getting stuck in a crowd or having to hear the shouts of vendors.


A view of Big Ben without the big crowd

Getting up early also means beating the crowds into museums, aquariums, theme parks, and zoos…



We’re kind of aquarium fanatics – more on that later

There are also plenty of smaller and less attended attractions one might not even think about until sitting somewhere bored for several months. One of our favorites ended up being the American Museum in Bath, England. What American would think of going to a museum about America while in a foreign country? The answer: one that likes giggling at what the British really think of us. Oh how difficult it was to keep a straight face.


The above “yarn tree” with its day-glow colors was found directly in front of the American museum. I’m fairly certain that it was a completely unrelated project (I think?), but never the less – there were many jokes made about the significance of traditional American yarn trees and the 4th of July.

Just remember, rush hour eventually catches up to us all, even those of us that avoid peak hours….


Personally, I prefer to hide from it in the safety of a nice cafe until the masses have passed by. The way I see it, there are two options when confronted with traffic (and life in general):

  • Hang out for a while, enjoy yourself, have a conversation, have some tea – and be late
  • Get packed into a train like a sardine, experience delays, stand around waiting – and be late
Seychelles Mama



6 thoughts on “Early Mornings

  1. Fab post. When you’ve grown up somewhere it is so easy to ignore everything “touristy”, which is such a shame. I love that being an expat makes you more carefree about these things – we often spend the weekend just getting on train and visiting random places too. As a result we sometimes end up knowing more about the area than the locals do!


  2. Ah I love being a tourist sometimes. It’s a great way to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. We’ve been in our new home – Brisbane – for two weeks now and once the admin is out of the way I’m really looking forward to exploring with the kids. I love your attitude to rush hour too – sounds very sensible to me! x


  3. This is a great post!!
    I agree one of the best bits of being an expat is playing tourist!! In a way you become the ultimate tourist, like you said you visit places that most people wouldn’t imagine visiting on holiday and yet somehow if you’ve always lived there you don’t visit either!!
    Thank you so much for joining in for #myexpatfamily


  4. Thanks for becoming a subscriber. Happy blogging.


  5. I know what you mean. The amount of Londoners I know who haven’t ever seen half of the city’s best attractions and museums is truly shocking.


  6. Being a “weekend tourist” is one of my favourite things about living in a new place!

    Oddly, I’ve discovered that the local Brits in my area (I’m South African, living here for a bit) couldn’t be bothered to spend time discovering their own history – what a shame. But less queues and crowds for the rest of us, eh?


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