On the flight back home from Spain this weekend I was reading The EasyJet Travallers Magazine. In this October edition I read ‘How not to be a tourist (even though you are one)’
It made me think about how I travel and if I should be more touristy or untouristy.
Andy Hill writes about 8 ways to avoid those holiday cliché’s. Here’s what I think about each of the 8.
Get to know locals. On one hand I think it’s a fantastic idea to mingle with locals but how do you even go about it? Randomly stop people in the street whom are more than likely tourists themselves. In Barcelona, we had an AirBNB host for a bar crawl, he was a resident, but how does one go about really getting to know the locals. Then, I think about if you are abroad, do you just want to be a tourist, do you want to put the effort in and learn the language or just enjoy the break and not be bothered by anyone or anything? Are you alone or are you a couple? I think it depends on the holiday type you choose, if you fancy lounging on the beach all holiday perhaps it won’t be on your agenda to meet and greet.
Give something back. This is me all over. Andy mentions about the fact that Leket in Tel Aviv is an organisation that amongst other initiatives, you pick surplus produce in fields that are otherwise left to rot, the produce is then processed and packaged to be passed on to Israeli food banks. You register through non-profit websites for all sort of things anywhere in the world and donate a few hours of your time. The next time I am planning a trip away I will look into donating my time, I think this is an excellent idea. I’d be really chuffed with myself.
Get lost and go back to basics. Andy suggests putting your mobile phone away and getting lost in a destination that perhaps you’ve never been to. This is a funny one for me really. Sounds great if you haven’t made plans, the sun is shining, and you haven’t had one too many sangria’s. If it’s absolutely hammering down, all I’d want to do is get to my hotel, using my phone to guide the way. I remember orienteering when I was 11. I enjoyed it but mostly because there was a prize at the end of it. Real life, in a foreign country, I need my mobile phone.
Drink in the local culture. I totally agree with this one. As mentioned when in Barcelona, our bar crawl guide gave us the local drink which was the Pink Panther, full of dry vermouth, although we were both undecided on the locals choice of tipple it was a great talking point. I’ve probably had more Pina coladas in the UK which tickled me a little bit as it’s not really the real thing.
It’s only when you really are in the heart of those places abroad you get the true taste of local culture.
Hotels? – Stay somewhere different instead of a hotel? Would you rather stay at someone’s house? Perhaps that’s the way you really can mingle with the locals, taste the culture and fully embrace the city you are in? I like my privacy and downtime. I also think I would feel like I am intruding even though I would have paid. Not sure this one is for me. I like my own space a bit too much.
Be nice make an effort Well, I would say I am always nice and do make an effort generally but the question I asked myself was, do I when it comes to speaking the native tongues of the countries I visit? Perhaps not.
I do love the French language so have a habit of slipping in a few French words on a daily basis here but abroad not so much.
I’ll say hello and goodbye which I am sure of but seldom do I try and make a sentence which is terrible.
Make your own memento Andy mentions purchasing key rings, fridge magnets, tea towels to bring home. Apparently in Paris you can whip up your own perfume on a two hour course this would be amazing! I am a keyring nut when I am at home. I can’t even do ‘buying a keyring’ abroad, we’d have too many for our key hanger. The 2p slots I’d spend fortunes on a keyring. I get really tense if I have to leave without wining a keyring. What we do when we are away, no matter where we are is send postcards back home to our families. Without fail we’ll find somewhere to sit, write on our postcard and let our families know there’s one coming so the kids are part of our adventures too.
Stop taking selfies– Rather than have your own mug in every single photo, take pictures of those scenic views instead. There are professional photo tours you can go on, who knew? So you can capture the most amazing photos without you being it? Put down that selfie stick Andy suggests and capture the true image your eyes see. I’d like to see both on my camera.
Would you say you are a touristy or an untouristy person? Do you think you’ll change depending on the destination of your break away? I’d love to know your thoughts.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
See you very soon.
With Love Mel x