Traveling at Home: Embracing Liverpool Tourism
I’ll admit it: I never fully appreciated living in the UK until I moved away. Isn’t it always the case, though, with your home country? Now, whenever I come back, I feel like an over-excited tourist, with the familiar becoming all shiny-new and wonderful. The fields are so green! The people are so friendly! The tea is so
Liverpool is one of the places that I’ve known, loved and taken for granted since I was a child. My family is from there; I went to university there; I had my first “grown-up” flat there. I know it like the back of my hand. And yet, returning for a visit this year was like seeing the city through new and bewildered eyes. I started noticing things that I’d never seen–or bothered to see–before. How big Chinatown is.
I know it like the back of my hand. And yet, returning for a visit this year was like seeing the city through new and bewildered eyes.
All the tiny boutiques nestled in streets I’d walked down countless times. How lively and fun the nightlife is. The quirks in the architecture, including a statue of a naked man standing above the door of a shopping centre I’d visited with family since I was four. “How long has that been there?” I squawked to a friend in horror. “Ooh, I don’t know – I’ve never seen it before!” she said vaguely. Of course she hadn’t.
I decided to take full advantage as a new Liverpool tourist and see my beloved city in a different way. I did all the things I’d promised myself I’d do “one day,” but never did. I ate in restaurants I’d never tried before. I watched the sun set at the Albert Dock, admired art in The Tate Gallery, gazed in awe at the mighty, red-bricked cathedral and visited all the museums.
While dancing around and listening to everyone around me speak English (when did that become a novelty?), I realised how much I’d taken for granted in the past.
And of course, I paid tribute to The Beatles! As the hometown of The Fab Four, naturally the city is obsessed with The Beatles–and rightly so. I headed over to Matthew Street, home to The Cavern Club. The current Cavern Club is heavily rebuilt, but still pays homage to the original bar, where The Beatles used to play regularly.
One of the reasons I love Liverpool so much is the people; they are so friendly, and always ready for a night out. Or day, it seems. I went to The Cavern Club at 3pm, and it was packed to the brim with people drinking, dancing, smiling and singing along to the tribute band. It felt so strange to be drinking vodka and cokes, singing along to “Hey Jude” with a crowd of strangers and my old friends in the middle of the day.
While dancing around and listening to everyone around me speak English (when did that become a novelty?), I realised how much I’d taken for granted in the past. I never appreciated how interesting my own city could be until I became a tourist. I fell in love all over again.