Am I Really a Tourist?

Last Friday, I went with the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) which is a staple for the tourist circuit. Visiting a common tourist location has its upsides and downsides but I always felt like the hidden gems had more legitimacy and heart. Something that people often wonder about a location is how it’s seen through a local’s eyes and most tourist locations aren’t commonly visited by locals. The Christ Redeemer is no exception, with a medley of languages in the air. Although the Christ itself was extremely impressive, the views of Rio de Janeiro were incredible.

Personally, I always feel really bad and awkward appearing like a tourist because of the negative connotation the word carries. I always imagine the locals just giving me dirty looks and attributing many troubles to a number of tourists, like traffic or product markup. Looking at things from a hospitality perspective, entire towns are sometimes sustained through tourism which takes away the guilt that I have always felt. I have to admit though when my professor took my picture telling me to do the classic pose I felt a bit embarrassed.

All I can say now is whenever you travel, make sure that you appreciate the city that you stay in by doing touristy things as well as hidden gems. All cities are multifaceted and they should be treated as such. Obrigada, Rio de Janeiro! (Thank you, Rio de Janeiro!)


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