Portrait #2 – With the eyes of a Tourist

I moved to the Isle of Man about two years ago, but it was not until the last few months that I have discovered and enjoyed more about this special British Isle. How did this happen? Are two years not enough to get to know a 572km sq. island? The answer is no, not when you activate your tourist mode.

When I was living in Costa Rica my friend Dairyn, who I admire a lot, and also who takes amazing photographs (check out her 500px profile) motivated me to become a tourist in our country, and what amazing places we found in our own cities. So, with the lockdown and my holidays out of the island cancelled, I remember those days that I enjoyed with my friend and… ding! A light bulb moment: I needed to reactive my tourist mode.

You may think: “well, you are kind of a tourist anyway, as you are not from the Isle of Man”. The reality is that after two years of living here what happened to me is what happens to the majority of people: routine. When I first came to the Isle of Man I visited the Laxey Wheel, enjoyed the TT races, explored the Peel Castle, and ate (a lot) of fish and chips; but with the start of my studies and work requirements, I simply got into a routine. However, with the huge STOP that COVID-19 give us, I decided that I didn’t want to be like that anymore.

And that’s how I went back to being a tourist in my own country, this time in the lovely Isle of Man. My boyfriend and I started to follow the self-guided walks that Visit Isle of Man have on their website and we were perplexed the beautiful landscapes, hidden beaches, and footpaths that we had no idea even existed! So far, our favourite has been “The railway ramble” that goes from Port St Mary to Port Erin where you can call into the sound cafe for a snack!

Now we have decided to take the Raad Ny Foillan Challenge 2020, organised by the Diana Princess of Wales Hospice Care at Home Trust. We will be giving a donation to the organisation and walking a section of the coastal path on the last Sunday of every month, over 15 legs, completing in August 2021. We start on the 5th of July, I would let you know how it goes.

In my list of “living like a tourist” activities, we are also taking a staycation (that I have already booked) in the Wig Wams at Knockaloe Beg Farm, and I am currently looking for an activity which will get me into the sea (my boyfriend is suggesting the Peel Dip on New Year’s Day but I am not convinced the sea is the best place to be in the middle of a Manx winter!) I’m used to warm seawater temperature, so the Irish sea is always going to be a challenge for me even in the height of the summer!

That’s my journey at present, I invite you to see your city and country with the eyes of a tourist. Go for walks and visit those local cafes where there is always someone to talk to, challenge yourself. Let me know what you think, share with me your experiences, or please give me more ideas of things I can do to make the most of the beautiful island I am now living on. I will be waiting for your e-mail; you can write to me at nikole@nikolecervantes.com

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