Intentional Tourist – Finding Romance In Your Own Backyard

Happy tourist sightseeing city with map from The Huffington Post

Happy tourist sightseeing city with map from The Huffington Post

Tourist. Most of us have been one from time to time. The definition of a tourist is:

a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

Have you ever considered becoming a tourist in your own city? Looking for different things to do that you’ve never done together or at all?

We live in Orlando–the city all families plan to visit at one time or another. But living here I can testify that we tend to avoid the places where tourists go for one main reason–it’s full of tourists! But there are times of the year when the tourists aren’t many. Only those of us who live here know when those times are, which is to our advantage when planning a romantic tourist destination.

The first time I had this idea was on our 25th wedding anniversary. I wanted to give Tom something special without him knowing, but we share our bank account. It would be impossible to do something really big without him having a clue. As a result I came up with an idea that I thought was perfect–25 romantic days over the next year. It sounded doable and fun–so I bought a stuffed animal with a heart-shaped pouch attached and named him “Tommy Bear“. I told Tom that whenever Tommy Bear showed up he would know that day would be romantic in some way.


Tommy Bear was during the course of that year…

  • shipped to his office UPS special delivery.
  • set on the parts shelf at his work and told there was a problem with inventory and to go check it out.
  • placed in his car to find when he got off work.
  • placed where he would see him when he awoke and went to brush his teeth.
  • put in the cabinet where our coffee mugs are stored.

As you can see Tommy Bear provided a fun way to announce a romantic day to Tom. What I didn’t anticipate was the fact that 25 dates over a years time equals one date every other week! What was I thinking?! Honestly, 25 didn’t sound like that big of a deal until I realized this fact. I know–get a clue, Debi! But it was too late. I had already given him the gift. So….

I began scouring the internet to find things to do in Orlando that were fun and free. And to my surprise I discovered a plethora of things I had no idea were happening here in our backyard. That year I realized what an amazing place Orlando is for romance 365 days a year.

So I ask you…

What if you were to plan a date (or several for that matter) where you’re a tourist in your own town? Pretend you’re coming to your city for the first time and do what tourists do–look up your Chamber of Commerce website and see what your city has to offer for those who are coming for pleasure. You might discover some new places you never knew existed, some events you had no idea were happening, or some familiar places seen in a new light. Give it a try–you might discover you enjoy being an intentional tourist.

NOTE: If you’re planning to visit The City Beautiful – Orlando, anytime soon, we’ve made a Romantic Orlando Guide for your convenience. It’s found in the tabs at the top of this page. 🙂

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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