Cheapest way to travel? Look at your home from a tourist's perspective.
My LA-based, Chicago-raised cousin visited us from the US this holiday period, so I've had to put my best tourist glasses on to show him the city. Doing so, I came upon a question: when you've exhausted the tour of key tourist pamphlet attractions and eliminated eateries as a destination (a phenomena interesting in itself - discuss: what other 'luxuries' do we indulge?), what is left?
A city full of road layouts that don't make sense, apparently.* And very few public spaces that are enclosed and in which you can sit and chat without having to buy something.**
We do, however, have beaches that even I - as a bookish, sun-surf-and-sand-disliking nerd - will admit are pretty awesome to visit. Occasionally. Once a year. And fireworks, always fireworks.
As a teenager, the strip of George St between Central and Town Hall station - in the dead epicentre of the Sydney CBD aka. the only 'cool' place worth visiting - seemed endlessly exciting and uncomplicated. You could fill a day perfectly with a movie here, game arcade there, seedy karaoke joints, ice cream towers, and purikura to end the day. A decade later, and in between increasing numbers of full-time-working friends and university student exhaustion, we're wandering either less, or completely away from home. When time is limited, I think it's only natural we want to maximise how far we go.
But in all of this, the cliched question: how well do you know your own home? Especially the parts you deem too mundane to show visitors? Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of 52 Suburbs' book.
The duality of creation and consumption has been something I've been thinking about recently. They are, first and foremost, processes that feed off each other - you cannot create without consuming stimulus and we are constantly 'creating' - in a loose sense - everyday; whether it's new knowledge for uni, intellectual property for work, or new experiences. It's very natural, at the end of the day, to want to consume as a way of relaxing, whether that's entertainment, food or anything that involves enjoying something that someone else has created. Creating things for yourself, about yourself, however, is a messy, time-consuming, difficult and frustrating and when you don't have all the time in the world (or even when you do), it's much easier to escape and appreciate someone else's hard work, to admire and save as 'inspiration' for a distant future.
I'm not going to detail my plans for the year because that is my natural instinct and I'm pretty sure is part of my regularly scheduled downfall. But, among other half-baked resolutions, let's create more.
*And words like 'tomato sauce', apparently. Silly Americans.
**Public spaces that are somewhat enclosed (and sometimes not) in which you can sit and chat without having to buy something. Excludes parks: Circular seats outside Sydney Town Hall opposite Woolworths, the food court at Pavilion on George, handful of benches in World Square, Darling Harbour, Market City Food Court, the Martin Place steps, outside the State Library, The Queen Victoria Building (after hours when the cafes close), The Galeries Food Court, the Central Park Food Court. Maybe the new George St.