From the number of bicycle racks on cars with out-of-state plates and the accompanying number of families riding the bike paths, the recent school vacation week has provided a preview of what is shaping up to be an ultra-busy summer that might set some records for the size of the crowds and the money spent on the Cape.
This will, of course, lead to traffic jams, parking hassles, employment shortages and tensions over wearing masks. It’s easy for a Cape resident to become as allergic to huge crowds as one does to tree pollen. It can sometimes feel like an invasion from “over the bridges,” and some Cape residents can’t wait to go elsewhere.
However, if one takes a more welcoming mindset, it’s also easy to see how the crowds will help keep our local businesses in business and make up for losses during the past year’s pandemic. We tolerate the influx of bicyclists and beachgoers so that our tourist-targeted economy can survive and our towns can flourish year-round.
If one chooses to take an even more inclusive mindset, it can feel like an honor and a pleasure to be the hosts to so many different people from so many different places—states, countries, continents—during the high season. It’s a kind of “reverse tourism” where we do not leave home but we let the world come to us. Think of listening to the many languages spoken, conversing with the visitors and watching children and adults make lasting memories.
Patience and preparation are key, but we think the rewards of sharing the Cape with the world are worth it.