Being a tourist in your own city is never fun unless you have a really good excuse. I used to have a great excuse, Matt, but then he moved here and became a local. This week Matt and I have visitors coming for a week, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them all the tourist places while getting the local flavor. I asked Matt to write a blog about being on the “other side” of the tourism trap in DC. It’s one thing having someone guide you around this city, but it’s another to play the role of tour guide.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn


guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

Tonight, and for the next week, two of my friends from Minnesota will be visiting and staying with Kendal Ann and I. I’m pretty excited. Yes, I’ve made some great new friends in my short time living in DC thus far, but it’s always great to see friends from back home who you haven’t seen in a while. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality with friends and exploring this great city even more.

One of the odd things for me will be taking the role of tour guide instead of being a tourist when my friends are here. As I said earlier, I’ve only been living in DC for a short time, but before that, when Kendal Ann and I were doing the long distance thing, I visited quite frequently. Those frequent visits took me to lots of new places that I had never heard of or had been to before. It was great – so many new firsts and I still have new firsts every week! But seeing all these new places and learning more about this city has given me my own view of places I think are interesting, places I’ve seen but have never been to before and places that I won’t ever go back to. I think that happens to everyone though once they start living somewhere new because you really start to try new things and new places, all while figuring out what you like and what you don’t like.

I think that I have a pretty decent grasp on where to go and how to get around in the city. However, I still accidentally walk past the White House and when it finally registers with me I’m like, “Oh hey, Obama” in my head. One interesting thing though that won’t be problematic per say, is the fact that I stick to routes that I trust and routes that I know when getting from Point A to Point B. Like I said, not a bad thing, but it’s something that I should try to work on while being the tour guide, just so my friends get a variety of different views throughout the city.

Overall, I’m looking forward to giving my friends a view of DC through my eyes, focusing on the sights and sounds that I think are important parts of the current city that I live in. It’s going to be a great week with big things on the horizon. I’ll give you an update of how it went next week!

If you’re interested in the things that I’ll be doing and the places that I will be taking my friends, I’ll just leave a link to my Twitter and the hashtag #MinnesotansTakeOnDC.

giving directions

struggling looking at a map

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Trapped in a foreign city with a language barrier– there you sit feeling helpless. You stare at the map, trying to make sense of all the winding streets, and you cannot even find your location. There are a thousand thoughts in your mind.

Getting lost in a new city is one of my favorite things. I love being a tourist. When tourists come to DC, sure, I have that same loathing emotion towards them that everyone else does becasue they clutter the city and walk unbearably slow. At the same time, I love them. I am so happy when people come to my city, The National Capital of the US. It’s so awesome that people want to explore my city, so of course I am more than welcoming and more than helpful when it comes to directions.

With my Midwest roots, it is incredibly hard to tell someone off and to walk past them while they are asking you something. My love for helping out tourists is abnormal. If I can show one person that everyone is not rude in this city, I feel that I did my job to instill hope in their heart.

Let me tell you a story.

Monday, I was walking to work and naturally I had my headphone in, granted this time I was talking on the phone and not listening to music. Anyway, I get to the crosswalk and this woman starts frantically talking to me. As she realizes I have my headphones in, I take them out and speak with her. Basically the jist of the conversation was her asking for directions and explaining to me (a local) that there a no metros where she needs to go. Once, she finally tells me all of her details, I explain to her if she keeps walking 8 blocks south she will run into the building she needs. This woman was beyond thankful. As the light turned, she booked it and was off to her destination waving to me.

Little things like that, make me feel good. I just made someone’s day. To me giving directions isn’t a nuisance, I truly enjoy it.

You could add something in about asking if anyone has ever given directions in their city or if they find it to be an annoyance when people ask them for directions.