It’s coming. It’s coming. PFA Season. Ready the welcome mats!
It was some time ago that my other half and I were introduced as PFAs. We were on vacation and on a Sunday we visited a Methodist church to get our weekly fill of scripture and to fellowship with the locals. The minister acknowledged the visitors in the audience, aka us, and welcomed us as PFAs. Must have had some weird look on our faces because he then enlightened us as to just what a PFA is.
Seems that since we were on vacation to a spot that has a huge influx of vacationers in the summer the locals are outnumbered by these PFAs. PFA? Uh-People From Away. Cute huh? So on the remainder of that trip and on trips to follow to different vacation spots we did and continue to, take notice of just who the PFAs around us are.
Of course on a cruise everyone is a PFA. Never knew anyone to tout that their home town is a floating cruise ship. You hear of people being from, say Hawaii. I need to insert here that if you live in Hawaii why oh why would you move? Who moves from Hawaii? As I have sat in my February living room looking out at a blizzard more times than I can remember, I cannot understand why anyone who finds that they are living in what I perceive as paradise would move away from there? I know—back to the PFA conversation…
After you become aware of PFA season you can begin to enjoy all that comes along with it. Come on, we have all been visitors at one time or another. But now you can be a visitor and part of the community at the same time. Of course money drives the season. Money also drives me crazy, but again I am skittering away from the PFA discussion…
But there is so much more to tourism than the dollar. Like getting to know where the best or for that matter the second best anything is. Where is the best spot to see the sunset—or sunrise? Take some of your time and take in a local ball game. Tour the farming area or stroll the residential streets and see the homes and yards that make that area the place you wanted to visit. We still talk about strolling down a little street in a small town where we got a whiff of some great baking that was going on in more than a few homes. Seems there was a bake sale the next day. We would have missed it had we not taken that walk. Be respectful, but neighborly. Say hi, chat it up, get the most out of your vacation.
Shop for t-shirts, art, jewelry whatever the local economy offers. Who goes to Texas without getting the biggest steak or the riding the wildest mechanical bull? Who in their right mind goes to Maine without trying “lobsta and butta” where the locals go? Well as a PFA it is your duty to hunt for, find and enjoy everything your surroundings have to offer.
Ah but there is a flipside to this conversation. I think the PFAs could call the locals, PFHs. Or, People From Here. As a PFA it will add such a new and different layer to your trip if you take time to get to know the PFHs you run onto in your travels. Just as we have all been PFAs at one time or another, we are all more often than not PFHs.
I feel that in this day of governmental alphabet soup talk of all the departments and titles, that PFA and PFH should be the top of the heap. No other group of little letters can bring people together like PFA and PFH.
In the past I found it hard to be comfortable in new surroundings. It is a big ole world out there and leaving my comfort zone of home and going forth and vacationing was fun sure, but there was always a part of me that was a bit shaky at having to be somewhere where I was not a part of “there.” Come to find out I was not the only one who lacked the socialization gene. But that one trip, when I found I was a PFA turned a corner for me. I hope this vacation season whether you are a PFA or a PFH you get out there and find your bake sale! Happy Summer.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org