Through my blog, I’ve enjoyed writing about many places I’ve travelled to, but I’ve also enjoyed using it as a way to share other travellers’ stories with you, including why you should visit different cities around the world. And this week, we’re taking a virtual trip to Austin, Texas… are you ready?
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and where you come from?
My name is Natalie Tanner and I’m originally from Houston, Texas. We’ve moved quite a bit with my husband’s job over the last 20 years which gave us a great chance to explore! I’ve now lived in Austin for 3 and a half years.
2. What do you love most about your hometown?
Austin is such a great town and I recommend it to travelers of all ages. Austin, Texas’ capital city, has the official slogan, “Keep Austin Weird” which sums up Austin! See some crazy things like the Cathedral of Junk and an outdoor graffiti art installation which you can add to! Austin is also famous for music festivals and is proud to be the Live Music Capital of the World.
3. Is there anything that frustrates or annoys you when tourists visit Texas?
People in the south of the United States are proudly friendly and tolerant of others. We love for people to come here and enjoy what Texas has to offer.
4. In your opinion, which places should be at the top of any visitor’s wishlist in Austin?
- Texas State Capital Building
- 6th Street for live music
- Murals in Austin, Texas
- Outdoor fun – Zilker park and Bat Watching
- Art fun – outdoor street murals are everywhere and visit the Hope Outdoor Gallery
5. What foods must visitors eat when in Austin, Texas?
Austinites are proud of their food! You’ll find lots of home cooking restaurants and food with a Tex-Mex feel. Visit a food truck for a variety of food choices and be sure to try the barbecue. Barbecue and chili are popular Texas foods!
6. What’s your favourite Texan word? Why? What does it mean?
Howdy would be my favorite word for Texas. You’ll hear it more often the farther away from the town you get but use it and see the friendly response you get!
7. What advice would you give to somebody moving to Texas?
If you are moving with the family check out the schools first. Austin has an amazing school system and several fantastic school districts. Choose the best one for your family. Also, be careful of traffic and take a look at the commute between where you would like to live and your job. Know before you buy! Remember, traffic always gets worse…not better so think about how much time you want to spend on the road each day before you choose a home.
8. If you could describe your hometown in just one sentence, what would you say?
Austin is fun – weird, musical, artsy, historic and friendly.
9. If tourists were to know one thing about the Texan culture, what should that be?
People in Texas are friendly. They will talk to total strangers while waiting in line at the grocery store. Be prepared for people to wave, smile, and talk to you. Be sure to wave, smile and chat back!
10. Do you have any interesting traditions that you’d like to share with others?
One of the most fun festivals in Austin is called SXSW. This huge international conference for music and technology is full of talks and live concerts.
Thanks Natalie – we’ve loved getting to know you and Austin better!
If you want to hear more from Natalie, check out her blog, The Educational Tourist now.
And if you loved this interview, don’t forget to share it!