Go local

Avoid westernized hotels and tourist trap restaurants. Staying in an apartment or with a family provides greater insight into how people really live. The food is much better, too. Shopping at local markets is great fun. Escaping one’s comfort zone is educational and leads to unexpectedly delightful people experiences.

In Turin for the 2006 Winter Olympics we stayed with a lovely local couple who helped us navigate the Italian postal system in order to ship three boxes within Italy. Who knew boxes could not have any writing on them? We required massive amounts of tape to cover up the boxes’ manufacturer labels.

In the Cinque Terre we stayed in an apartment outside the window of which a woman was making wine and using hoses to draw it into the apartment next door for bottling. That was quite a conversation and we enjoyed two of their bottles.

We came by the apartment quite by chance, after showing up rather late in a very full Vernazza and wandering around looking for a place.

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2 Responses to Go local

  1. Connie Allen says:

    You are having so much fun. I loved reading about your adventures. When we travel in the states, we try to stay at B&Bs and eat at non-chain eateries. It is more fun that way. Looking forward to more of your adventures.
    Connie

    • Us says:

      Thanks for the well wishes. We all like our customary comforts, but that puts us in a bubble when we travel to other places. In the bubble, we miss a richer experience…even traveling within the states. It can often be well worth it to take a chance, get outside your norm.

      In the rest of the world, we’ve tended toward hostels and self-contained (ie kitchen included) so we can buy local and cook ourselves, except when we choose to eat out. That’s a lot less expensive and weight-enhancing in general, though dining as you travel can indeed be a cultural experience. Plus it can get pretty tedious when you must eat out all the time.

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