As a frequent tourist travelling to new places, it is quite exciting to see all of the aspects that make up a town. Depending on where you’re visiting; you can be subjected to a new culture, new food, new people, and just an entirely new atmosphere. While being a tourist has its moments, what about the locals of the area? What is their perspective? Well, this week I wanted to get together with Megan Collamore and discuss her view of being a local in a tourist hotspot. She resides in a small quaint town in an area referred to as “Midcoast Maine.” I came up with a few interview questions to help my readers get to know this little beach town and what she feels about being a local here.
1.Tell me about where you live (food, culture, people) and what are your favorite aspects of living in a small coastal town in Maine?
Megan: It’s pretty great living in Maine! I hate to agree with stereotypes, but I’ve got to say, there are plenty of people in their pickup trucks with their hats and tall boots on, putting an “ah” or an “in” after almost every word. It’s interesting living in this area because everyone knows everyone. I could mention a friend that lives an hour away to my father, and he’ll know their relatives. A significant percentage of the population consists of fishers since lobster is one of the biggest things we’re known for, we have plenty of people in the business! You’d think that since we’re so used to having seafood around, we wouldn’t eat it, but that’s what the majority of people around here eat! That and meat, most Mainers love their meat and like to hunt for their own.
Though I’m not a fan of hunting, there are many aspects of Maine that I love. I love living in the middle of nowhere, being able to just hike through the woods whenever I want is one of my favorite things. Another great aspect is being able to have peace. Even when there’s traffic, it’s pretty quiet.
2.Are there any particular events that happen throughout the year that bring in a lot more tourists than usual?
Megan: Most tourists don’t seem to come for events, but just to enjoy the beauty of Maine or to visit their relatives. Though when people get here in the summer, they tend to be delighted by the fairs that many towns have (Union and Scarborough for example). And in Rockland, there’s The Lobster Festival which is an event loved by many. It’s your standard festival (food, stuff to buy, rides, music) but called The Lobster Festival to make it more Maine-like.
3.What is your opinion of the tourists that come to visit? What is your favorite and least favorite things?
Megan: In all honesty, my opinion of tourists is quite neutral. Tourists make it more interesting; many people in this area have similar interests and lifestyles, so meeting new people that are different than most of us is quite refreshing. The only downside of having so many tourists is how our traffic changes, which doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother others.
4.What landmarks would you recommend to anyone who is thinking of visiting?
Megan: I would highly suggest going hiking. It’s beautiful here, and you could hike pretty much any area around here and leave feeling satisfied. If you’re looking for a cute town to visit, I’d suggest Damariscotta. There are a few awesome stores, including my favorite bookshop. Plus, it’s right on the water. If you’re visiting in the late summer, see if there are any fairs around, because that’s one of the greatest things you could do with your family. And lastly, if you’re more of a city person, you might like the city of Portland, full of great restaurants and bars. Full of life, it’s quite populated, and it’s one of the more ‘artsy’ sorts of areas in Maine!
5.Lastly, what is your perspective on being a local in a tourist destination? Is there anything you would change? Do you plan on staying in that area for the rest of your life?
Megan: My perspective is positive. It makes life interesting. This area doesn’t just stay the same year round, it continually changes with the seasons, and each summer is different than the next! It’s as if we get our own little adventure without having to get on a plane. There’s not much I would like to change. The only thing is that I wish we had more public trails and events that would bring tourists and locals together. I think that would be nice.
It’s funny to me actually, thinking about living here. When I was little, I wanted to live in New York City more than anything. Now that I’m grown up, I’ve realized just how much I love it around here. I plan on traveling a little bit throughout my life, but ultimately I plan on settling down and buying a house here. Maybe buy a small cabin in the woods on a decent piece of property near the ocean. Honestly, that’s the dream!
There you have it, a little insight on the Midcoast of Maine. Please take a moment to check out Megan’s social media links and blog.
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Till next time,