We had met while both living in Paris, and when I picked him up from the airport, it was the first time we had seen each other in over 2 years.
Removing the foreign element of Paris, where we had both bonded over being new to the place, was strange, as I was now seeing him from a different perspective.
At first, the novelty of meeting someone new in a new place seemed gone, then I realized
that just wasn't true.
This was the first time I got to see him were we were both more comfortable, we both spoke the local language, for starters. And I had a chance to share my city, my local haunts and make new memories.
I also learned the importance of rediscovering my own town.
For a long time, I have felt bored, quite frankly a little stuck, in my small college town. But this week, I got to see it with fresh eyes, as I explored it with a person that I once explored the Latin Quarter with. And I had
Like the good 'ol days, we ate too much food and drank some wine.
I showed him some local staples, like large American portion sizes, the college football stadium, vapor shots (that's for another day),
It was 4th of July weekend after all, and I wanted him to have a traditional American time.
We had a BBQ, watched fireworks and lit some of our own, which were
The week of July 4th, 2014, will always be a fond memory for me. I had a wonderful time, hung out with a friend that I had missed a ton, and saw my town with a new appreciation.
And now I challenge you to do the same.
When you host couchsurfers, travelers, or visiting friends, it's easy to play tour guide and tell them about your city. But I challenge you to discover it with them. Do something new, or do something familiar with a little more sense of adventure.
And keep that attitude all year; Take yourself to the movies, a new restaurant, or sit in the local park. Ask someone on the street for directions or a restaurant recommendation.
Who knows, you just might find something unexpected.