Meet the locals, but share your perspective, too

 

Mingling with locals definitely brings a foreign destination to life, but there's one thing no local has: your perspective. They will never know that you love cobblestones unless you tell them.

 

When I was in high school, our family hosted 2 girls from Yokohama, Japan. I showed them Edmonton's main sights, and we compared daily life in Canada and in Japan. One weekend, we took them to the Rocky Mountains. Breathtakingly spectacular, we promised. But unfortunately I knew the five-hour drive all too well: endless horizon-to-horizon wheat fields punctuated by a few grain elevators and random smatterings of cows and horses. It was mind-bogglingly boring.

 

But the minute we left the city limits, my Japanese friends were glued to their passenger windows. For five hours, they photographed wheat fields, grain elevators, trees, the sky, the clouds and who knows what on earth else. They exclaimed again and again, "the sky! The sky is so big!". I'd never noticed. But when I visited them in Japan, I understood: the sky over Tokyo definitely seemed smaller. 

 

The main tourist attractions are worth seeing, and the locals can add depth to your experience. But share your perspective with them, too. And if your most memorable moments after a day in Rome include the street signs and door knockers, that's okay. Share it with a local and help them see their own city in a different light.

 

IMG_0234 torino small

Photo of poetry in the winter sky in Turin by Madeline

 

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition


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Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in Italian Culture | 12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Stacey Sheldon
    October 25, 2010

    Thanks for your post. SOmetimes it takes an outsider for us to realize how much we take the things we have for granted.

    Reply
  2. wandering educators
    October 25, 2010

    it’s so true – what we find commonplace, others find extraordinary! good luck

    Reply
  3. Madeline
    October 26, 2010

    thanks for your comments Stacey and wandering educators!

    Reply
  4. Joe Nance
    October 26, 2010

    That is so true. I always look for the non-obvious – like the garbage boats in Venice. Not something that you see in the tourist brochures! Italy is so full of such things that just become part of the background for someone living there. Now I have to think about what someone from a similarly sized city might find fascinating about where I live.
    Joe

    Reply
  5. Madeline
    October 26, 2010

    Totally agree re the garbage boats in Venice! It was hard to pick a photo for this post (as one of the Canadian prairie sky isn’t really ideal for this blog), and it was hard to decide between one of a boatyard in Venice, green garbage cans in Milan, or the Turin poetry that I chose…

    Reply
  6. Anca Popa
    October 27, 2010

    A lovely post, thanks for entering our competition. Good luck!

    Reply
  7. lara dunston
    October 28, 2010

    What a great point! Couldn’t agree more!
    Thank you so much for entering our competition. Best of luck!

    Reply
  8. Nicole
    October 28, 2010

    So awesome to exchange viewpoints between locals and visitors. Good luck in the contest!

    Reply
  9. Giulia
    November 4, 2010

    Very nice post, Madeline! And beautiful shot, Turin is definitely underestimated.

    Reply
  10. Madeline
    November 4, 2010

    thanks again for the nice comments, everyone! Giulia I agree Turin is a relatively undiscovered gem… shhhh 😉

    Reply
  11. Jonathan
    November 9, 2010

    Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the language is just majestic! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Joanna
    November 26, 2010

    As far as I’ve noticed when I’ve been to Italy this summer is that locals are really friendly. I remember that all over the news they were talking about the hatred that italians have for romanians but I talked to the locals and it’s not at all like that…really they’re ok !

    Reply

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