In 1991-92 we moved to Tucson, AZ for a year. Laura was on sabbatical from Furman, doing research at the University of Arizona, and I spent the year wandering in the desert – quite literally. I would drop Laura off at the lab, then go find a canyon to climb or arroyo to explore. On the weekends we would pick some other location, trying to take advantage of all that the area had to offer.
We made many friends among the locals while we were there. Occasionally we’d talk about some of the places we had visited, and the response was often, “I’ve never been there” or “I didn’t know that was here.” In some cases it was ignorance, and in some cases they just hadn’t gotten around to it. We always said in reply that we knew we had a finite amount of time to see things – one year. Living in an area you tend to think you’ve got plenty of time to visit all of these places, which means that often you just don’t get around to it.
For that reason I’ve found that it’s not a bad idea to pretend you’re a tourist in your own home town. Check out what the local tourism board or other resources have to say about spots in your area, then actually VISIT those spots.