Welcome to The Local Tourist: Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

The Local Tourist
7 min readMar 13, 2023

Hi. My name’s Theresa and I’m The Local Tourist. Have we met? Well, then, please allow me to introduce myself.

My story begins in the back of a van many, many years ago. Decades, in fact. Now, before your wild imagination fills in the blanks a little too creatively, that van was my dad’s, and he was an artist.

Dad exhibited at art fairs. Occasionally, mom and my brother and I would join him. He’d pulled out the seats in the back so his artwork would fit. That meant my brother and I sat in lawn chairs (which tells you how long ago this was). When dad took a turn a little too fast, so did we.

I already knew I wanted to be a writer. When we started traveling to these art fairs, I’d watch the passing landscapes and realized I wanted to travel the country and tell its stories.

Theresa in her happy place - with horsies!
Theresa in her happy place — with horsies!

After a few missteps, I graduated with a Journalism degree and promptly began waiting tables. I’d moved to downtown Chicago and fell in love with my new city and my new neighborhood. Armed with skills gained in J-school plus the passion of a tourist and the comfort of a local, I found my calling.

The Local Tourist was born.

For fifteen years, I was all Chicago, all the time, but then a surprising visit to a small town in Iowa reignited…



The Local Tourist

Born to write with a nearly obsessive love of travel, history, cooking, Chicago, and my husband. Author, speaker, exuberant lover of life.