Watch model Anaa Saber navigate the joys of being a ‘Hometown Tourist’

Dazed & footwear label Sorel team up for a short film that celebrates rediscovery and its AW22 collection

The post-pandemic tale of readjusting to the real world and its barrage of public transport, awkward bumping-intos and actual weather, not just on-screen rain, is one you know well. But what about the positives that come with getting reacquainted with our towns and cities?

They do exist, I swear. And to help spread such positive thoughts and new perspectives, Dazed and Sorel tapped model and influencer Anaa Saber and director Bella Newman for Hometown Tourist - a NYC-trotting short film that asks us to slow down, reconnect and re-appreciate the places we live. 

Kitted out in Sorel’s AW22 footwear, a range of high, mid, and low trainers and casual boots blending utlity and style, Anaa gave us a three-step guide to being a Hometown Tourist as we joined her on the streets of her native New York.

FIND A PLACE TO PAUSE

As a model, influencer, creative consultant, and writer, Anaa's schedule can be chaotic, to say the least, so finding time and place for a switch up in perspective and pace is essential. 

Before we even took a step on the streets of her Little Italy neighbourhood, Anaa noted that rediscovery can start at home - or anywhere you can find a place to unwind and observe. 

“My fire escape represents sanctuary to me,” she said. “It’s a place where I can chill out, let the chaos of New York pass by and just people watch. It’s just me and my city. Sitting there makes me appreciate the world I live in.”

TAKE A TIP IN YOUR OWN CITY

No matter how long you’ve lived where you do – take Anaa’s lifetime in New York, for instance – city fatigue can creep up on all of us. 

Calling on a recommendation from a friend or family member is a good route to refresh, and can lead you on unexpected adventures, even in a place you know, or think you know, so well.

“When I’m in need of inspiration, I always turn to my brother and ask him for advice or a tip on where to go. Even though I’ve lived in New York my whole life it always feels good to get a fresh perspective. Taking a tip can inspire you, but also allow you to get lost some place new. I mean when you live downtown you barely go above 14th street.”

RECONNECT WITH A HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Being a tourist, perhaps even a hometown one, can come with a hearty dose of homesickness. For Anaa, it’s Pakistan – where the heritage of her and her family lies – that brings about feelings of disconnection. When homesickness strikes, she finds a spot that helps her reconnect.

“Haandi is one of my favourite Pakistani restaurants in New York. I always come here when I feel homesick, when I need a slice of Pakistan,” Anaa explains. “I come to Haandi when I need to feel a part of my people, a part of my culture. The first bite transports you to Lahore - my second favourite city, after New York of course.” 

Ready for rediscovery, Sorel's AW22 collection is available here.