When They Come to Tour

After working at the visitor information booth, questions from tourists often became fodder for a few laughs  (later, when they were gone), but we always answered with a straight face: 

  • Where can we find the escalator if we don’t want to hike up the trail?
  • Are the fish in the ocean real?
  • Can you direct me to Wal-Mart?
  • Aren’t there coupons for that?
  • Is there a bridge from here to the active volcano? (over 173 miles of open ocean)?
Graciously directing strangers to the natural wonders and away from the tourist traps  

can be difficult.

If they’ve heard about an elusive site that they think only insiders know about – chances are pretty good that you couldn’t pay the locals to go there. But vacationers often want to spread their wealth and sometimes test their fitness – insisting on a secret find that they’ve googled.  The assertive visitor will usually ignore any advice and look for the kitsch or the slippery rocks – and then complain.

But, sometimes, the astute traveler, willing to explore, will find an adventure – new even to the locals – like a vintage elevator at an historic site that will open to a magnificent view.  

Maybe they read about it in a book.