One of the first natural reflexes one would have is to stay on their guard when in foreign territories. It could seem naive to act in any other way but by being too safe and not actively engaging in conversations with the locals, by fear of them robbing or ripping us off, aren’t we missing out on opportunities to discover some exceptional gems?
If you think about it, by showing interest to people who live in the area and telling them how much you love their country, do you think there is any interest in them misguiding you and leading you to think the opposite? Without thinking that we’re in a world of Care Bears, if you open yourself up to people in your surroundings chances are your experience will be enhanced significantly.
Next time you’re on holiday, why not try it, whether it be with one person or one whole day? See if engaging in a conversation with a local (other than the product they’re selling to you) will lead you to discover places or create experiences you wouldn’t have on your own?
Alone in Istanbul one morning, I decided to go against that wariness and to put on my holiday smile and let my curiosity for new discoveries, sensory experiences and human interactions take the lead. Funnily enough, along with the people who I opened up to, we created a brilliant day dotted with beauties of all kinds.
> Savoured a multitude of honey and pomegranate Turkish delights in the Spice Bazaar
> Let my sense of smell and taste discover unknown spices and authentic mixes which will for sure add some exoticness to summer barbecues
> Took an unexpected turn to arrive into a majestic square to take a break from the hussle of the Bazaar and get a boost from the local oh so bitter coffee
> After buying into another lambs wool scarf, shared stories with a pashmina merchant who then revealed the most beautiful mosque and breathtaking viewspot in Istanbul which turned out to be a perfect environment for locals to nap!
What has resulted from your letting your guard down on holiday?