Exploring My Hometown is a blog series about Arlington, Texas. Join me as I explore the city throughout 2020. I plan to turn this blog into my first book.
In my younger days, I dreamt of being a travel writer. I didn’t even fully know what that meant. But it sounded exciting. I liked to write, and I thought it would be cool to travel and write about faraway, exotic lands.
Now that I’m older and more pragmatic, a nomad lifestyle doesn’t appeal to me as much. In fact, I’ve discovered that I don’t like to travel as much as I thought I did. I also realized there’s a whole world in my neighborhood and city that I haven’t explored yet. I haven’t earned the privilege to travel the world when my hometown lies untouched.
I was born in Arlington, Texas. I grew up in the neighboring town of Mansfield. Growing up, Arlington was always the “big city” next door — filled with excitement and things to do. It still is, even more so today.
I moved to Arlington when I was 24 years old. Arlington is my hometown because it’s where I was born and where I’ve lived for the last 12+ years.
Lately, I haven’t felt like a local to this city. I’ve started to feel like a visitor or even a stranger. I began to question who I was. I’ve lived in this area my whole life, but I don’t know much about it. If someone asked me about the local history, or things to do, or places to eat, I wouldn’t be able to provide much insight. I wanted to change that and forge a relationship with this city.
In late 2019, I decided that I wanted to blog about this city. I explored this city over the last month, and began to appreciate it. I haven’t even scratched the surface. There’s so much more to explore. I want to answer the question: What is my hometown?
I had to do this journey with Arlington. I could choose any city in the world for this project, but it wouldn’t be the same as my hometown. It’s a bond that no other place can touch.
Arlington feels like the perfect fit for this project, too. Not too large and not too small. It’s large enough that there is plenty here, but small enough that I have to challenge myself a bit.
In today’s world, we’re a society of zombies. We’re addicted to cell phones, social media, and mindless entertainment. We’ve lost touch with our ancestral roots — and our spirit of adventure and exploration. I wanted to channel the spirit of the settlers, pioneers, and explorers that made this city what it is today. Those people damned their inhibitions and did it their way. And you know what? They were probably more satisfied in their lives than we will ever be. Let us not live vicariously through them, but instead, follow in their footsteps.
Explore with me the history, places, things, and locality that make Arlington unique. All of these pieces to a puzzle that explore my hometown — and myself.