Tour Your Hometown
Natalie of Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown
1. For starters, where is your current hometown and how long have you lived there?
Charleston, South Carolina. I was born here, spent the first two years of my life there, then moved around South Carolina for the next ten years because of my dad’s job. In 1996, we moved back, and I’ve called it home every since—other than my 6 years away at college and grad school.
2. For many people, travel is not always feasible or desirable all year round. How do you make the most of your hometown when you are not traveling?
Charleston has really come into its own over the last decade or so. The historic district has been completely revitalized since Hurricane Hugo blasted through in 1989, and the changes are still going full force! The city government has done a great job attracting new restaurants, hotels, and shops. When I’m not traveling, I’m always window shopping in a new store or taking a peep at the latest revitalization project. To be such an old city, Charleston is continually reinventing itself, and that’s exciting.
3. What is the most creative technique you use to save up for your travels while you are at home?
My husband and I are pretty frugal people—he’s in banking, and I grew up around two very financially minded people (my dad is also in banking and my mom’s in accounting). Budgeting is our family activity! We are the world’s most boring people when we’re home: we rarely go to the movies, we save up to go out to eat, and we’re still wearing the same clothes we had in college. There are so many inexpensive or free things to do in Charleston, and we love those!
4. What is the best part of your hometown that other visitors should know about?
The history, hands down. So many people come to Charleston, take one of those horse and buggy tours (which hit the high spots) and then head out to the beach. I wish we had more visitors who were willing to take more in depth walking tours, explore the old Charleston City Jail, learn the story of slavery at the Old Slave Mart museum, and learn why Fort Sumter is important.
5. Finally, we can’t forget about the food! Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown and why?
I have to pick just one?! Charleston has made itself known as a foodie heaven in the last few years, so we’re chock full of great restaurants. Fuel’s pork tacos are my new favorite dish, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Jestine’s pecan fried chicken with a side of fried okra. It’s Southern comfort food at its finest!
After teaching college literature for five years, Natalie decided to combine her loves of writing and traveling and start a travel blog. A history buff, bibliophile, and lover of all things off the beaten path, Natalie likes to take the nerdy road less traveled on her adventures. Since having her daughter, she’s also learned a surprising number of ways to wrangle a toddler in a museum.