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Local Tourist: Same City, Different Day

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I want to apologize, first and foremost, for any unwelcome images of neon fanny-packs and island-print shirts that the word “tourist” might have spurred. That is not the type of tourism I wish to endorse. I would, however, like to take a moment and celebrate the infamous tourist.

Tourists are individuals with an insatiable thirst. They are relentless seekers of amusements and attractions of every sort. Thrilled by even the smallest vacation perks, true tourists are committed to continental breakfast no matter how early or how sparse. They are drunk with curiosity and refuse to stop drinking until they have swallowed a city up. They are camera-totin’, sunscreen-sportin’, itinerary-abidin’ citizens of whatever city they currently call home.

Dear tourists, you have got it going on—minus the weird tan lines and the socks with sandals combinations, of course.

Yet despite their gun-ho attitude and go-out-and-grab-the-world-by-the-binoculars spirit, every tourist must eventually say goodbye to their home away from home. The excursions expire, the animal-shaped towels become extinct. Island time inevitably runs out and there is nothing left for a tourist to do but wheel their upright suitcase down to the lobby for check-out before flying, driving, or floating back home.

Citizens of Macon, Georgia, it is with great pleasure that I offer you an extended staycation here in your very own home. Think of it as a one-mile-away-getaway or a middle-of-the-week-retreat. What I am proposing to you is a chance to become a tourist in your own town. So get off the couch and into an Uber, because yours is the city to see.

Don’t get me wrong, having a consistent routine can be an incredible thing. It is warm and comforting like a big bowl of pimento macaroni and cheese. Of course, you might not ever experience the savory splendor of Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen’s Pimento Mac & Cheese (served with your choice of a delicious smoked meat) if you never break routine.

In attempt to set a good example for any fellow aspiring local tourists out there, I sought out the all-seeing, all-knowing entity that is the ‘Events’ section of Facebook. I wanted to begin my exploratory journey with something simple but significant.

Enter Amber Pierce.

You may know Amber for her whiskey-slingin’ at BJ’s or her country-singin’ in The Vineyard Band. What you might not know about Amber is that she is a yoga instructor here in town. Every Tuesday and Thursday at noon she teaches a 45-Minute Lunch Break Yoga class at Fit Moguls on Second Street downtown. As a longtime yoga beginner, I was immediately drawn to the description which promised “total relaxation” and “slow flow”—Sold!

The class was quick, but not hurried; Amber was soft-spoken, but sure. The overall playful atmosphere was a welcome change from my normal lunch break routine, usually frantic with errands and poor food choices.

Now I am far from a yoga expert, as I hinted at above, but there was one moment during class when half of my body was stretching up and out in what I hope was the right direction, the other half supporting it with a quivering certainty at best, and Valerie June’s “Astral Plane” began to play, making everything instantly feel good. The class theme was “I Am Present,” and suddenly I was.

That is the beauty of lunch break yoga; that is the brilliance of breaking routine.

I cannot think of a better way to introduce the concept of local tourist than with a call for presence, because there is nothing better than opening your eyes to the opportunities in your own city, especially when your city is Macon. Besides, taking a yoga class on your lunch break is an excellent excuse to disguise comfy yoga clothes as business casual wear. For the full local tourist experience, I recommend taking a long lunch and heading over to El Camino afterwards for Tater Tachos and Watermelon Jalapeno Margaritas. The class is only $10, so just skip Starbucks twice this week and support a local yoga class instead. It is guaranteed to make you feel way better than a Caramel Frappuccino ever could.

Follow Star Stuff Yoga & More on Facebook for more information about the unique yoga classes Amber is offering around town.

That being said, if you feel even a tiny bit inspired to explore Macon a little more in the weeks ahead, here are a few more items to add to your Two-Week To-Do list:

Second Sunday featuring Quaildogs – Sunday, June 11th at 6 PM on Coleman Hill

Corks & Canvas – Thursday, June 15th at 7 PM at The 567 Center for Renewal

Thursday Night at the Movies – Thursday, June 22nd at 7 PM at The Douglas Theatre

Same City, Different Day” does not have to be a sad, sluggish complaint against the monotony of the everyday. It can also be an enthusiastic exclamation about the opportunity to discover new and exciting things in your city each day. The choice is yours. Choose presence. Choose curiosity. Choose to wake up and see Macon for the weird, wonderful, worthwhile place that it is.

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