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Vacationland Or Not Vacationland This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   During the summer, "48 Hours" did a piece on taking vacations. They were telling the viewers about some precautions they should take while traveling. At the end of their piece, they came to Maine. A CBS news reporter asked some Maine natives how they felt about tourism. He was surprised to hear their answers - I wasn't.

In a small diner, natives were asked the big question. "How do you feel about tourism in Maine?" They said that they hated it. WHAT? How can your license plate say VACATIONLAND on it and then hate the people that come here to vacation. Two comments were: "They can come here as long as they have money, but when their money runs out. ... GET OUT!" and "I usually can't wait for October. That is when all of the tourists are gone!" Many mom and pop stores need tourists to stay alive. Many people have this same feeling toward people from Canada that come to shop here. IT MAKES ME SICK!!

I understood how one guy felt. He said that he moved to Maine from New York when he was three-months-old, and he will never feel like a native. It was not like the guy was in his twenties, he was in his eighties. Imagine eighty years of feeling like an outcast. It really hurts.

When I moved to Maine seven years ago, I felt lost. The people in my town and in the surrounding towns would not give my family a chance. Both my father and I have been told to go back to where we came from. They wanted my business, but once I left their cash register, I was insulted. My name was different. Here, everyone is related to everyone else. I'm related to no one. If you are different, you will never be "one of us." The 80-year-old man was hurt that he wasn't considered a native. I don't want to be a "Mainer," I would like to be respected. Not because I have money, but because I am me.

I didn't want to insult anyone by writing this, but I can only write the truth that sits inside my broken heart. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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