Growing up in Buffalo, there is a lot of things you take for granted as it has become our norm. Like any hometown, we forget about the bakery tourists are excited to try or the natural wonders of the world in our backyard. I fell into this category quite heavily as whenever someone would ask what to do, I would reply that there isn’t much to be done. I couldn’t have been more wrong which I had eventually learned when a foreign exchange student came to live with me 4 years ago.
My family and I had signed up on a whim, myself being very excited to share my culture and learn someone else’s. After careful selection, Jieun Lee from South Korea was assigned to my home and was arriving in just a few short weeks. This was exciting but also very daunting.
“Where am I going to bring her?”
“What kind of foods will she be excited to try?”
“Will she enjoy living in a place that isn’t a tightly connected city?”
My mind was whirling and I finally had to take a moment and look at Buffalo from an outsider’s perspective. Niagara Falls; 20 minutes away from the local coffee shop and library for your town, is an amazing attraction that people come from around the world to see. Canalside had recently been updated and was quickly becoming one of the biggest outdoor attractions in Buffalo. Duff’s Famous Wings and Beef on Weck are the stereotypical Buffalo foods. The Eternal Flame hiking trails close to Orchard Park.
All of these are things that we take for granted in our home towns. It is easy for us to grow bored of our everyday routine and settle into comfort. Although it may be easy, it is definitely something we should all try and avoid! Take a trip once a month in your local home town like it is something new and exciting. Do touristy things that you’d normally gawk at. The places we live have so many opportunities for us to explore, growing bored is near impossible if we fully invest ourselves in enjoying them.
Buffalo is an amazing city. The neighbors are kind, the food is fantastic and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere but here. It took a little push from another culture to show me exactly how amazing Buffalo can be and exactly why I never want to call anywhere else home.