Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Commentary: Travel Like You Don't Live There
In November I was in plenty of planes, and there is limited reading material. Of course, the ubiquitous Sky Mall was readily available. I even practiced reading in Spanish using the American Airlines Nexos magazine. And then I had to peruse American Way from cover to cover. An article that I really liked was called "Travel Like You Don't Live There" by Jim Shahin. When I travel there are things that I like to do like a local: visiting local neighborhoods with friends and restaurants off the tourist track. The best way I've found to do this is on volunteer vacations. When you are the only 'farang' in a Thai pre-school, you're having a real world experience that most tourists will never have. And then there are things that are the crux of vacation and being a tourist, like sleeping in and umbrella drinks and climbing the Turm at the Cologne Cathedral.
So for someone coming to Denver who wanted the real "live here" experience, I would suggest the following....
-- Rush hour traffic. I-225 is my personal favorite.
--I-70 west on a Saturday morning during ski season. Leave home about 6:30-7 so you have the complete experience of sipping your Starbucks in traffic moving 8 miles an hour.
--Packing yourself onto the light rail going to a Rockies or Broncos game.
--Waiting for a table at Snooze on a weekend morning. I drove by today on my way to work and there were plenty of open tables. The breakfast is worth it, but time yourself accordingly.
--Being ill-prepared for snow. It was 40 degrees and sunny when you set out in the morning, and by afternoon you've got 4 inches of snow. Every time it snows people act like they've never seen it before.