The Backyard Tourist

The Backyard Tourist

Written by Ade

This time last year, I was making my way through Julia Cameron’s self-study course entitled ‘The Artist’s Way’. For those of you not familiar with the course, it is a 12-week program in ‘discovering and recovering your creative self’. As part of the course, there were two basic requirements – complete the Morning Pages and take yourself on an Artist Date, once a week.

I was pretty bad in keeping the Morning Pages regularly. It involved writing three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing - 1st thing in the morning. The Artist’s Date on the other hand I loved and had no problem keeping or finding ideas. The Date was described as a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you.

One of the things that I discovered whilst planning for my Artist’s Date, was that there were so many places in the city I lived, that I had never got round to visiting. Something had always got in the way and I had developed the habit of making excuses and taking the city for granted. I had developed an attitude of ‘I’ll do it one day’.

Last week, I came across some pictures showing my mum, a family friend and myself at the British Museum, circa 1973. As far as I remember, that was the only time that I had ever been to the British Museum - never quite made it there last year. I took finding the pictures as a signal to introduce an adapted version of the Artist’s Date into my life; only this time I’m calling it ‘playing tourist in my own backyard’. The idea is to visit places that I have always wanted to visit in the cities I live (London and Amsterdam), but have never got round to doing so. Last week, I did get round to visiting the British Museum and yesterday it was the Natural History Museum. Next week, it’s Anne Frank's House.

As I wandered around ancient Egypt last week and yesterday explored the land of the dinosaurs, I could not help but stand in awe of the marvels that were in my own backyard – who knew! 

I would certainly love to hear about your adventures of playing the backyard tourist - where in your backyard would you like to visit, but have not yet found the moment to do so?

Categorised Under: Culture, Fun,


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