Memorable moments are your beautiful reward from an exciting travel trip. They provide you with a lot of content for “pack up to go” stories you can relate to friends and associates, adding to your popularity.
Create memorable moments by connecting with locals in the cities and places you visit. Chat with them about life in their city or town, what’s important to them.
Let’s take an imaginary trip to Italy and look at some of the ways you can connect.
Walk around the city or town you’re visiting
Tips on ways to meet locals:
- Wake up early. Take a stroll. Have breakfast at a local bar or café. Pick one that is fairly crowded. Meet locals while having an Italian light breakfast – cappuccino and a croissant. Try an otto – a filled “8” shaped pastry instead of a croissant.
- For lunch, have a picnic in a park. Pick out regional specialties at a produce market in the morning. Great way to meet locals when you visit several stalls in the market. For two people, pick up some fresh rolls, 100 grams of cheese, 100 grams of sliced meat, and some regional specialties. You’ll have some fun chatting about your selections with the local merchants.
- Dinner at a restaurant. Choose a trattoria or an osteria located a block or two away from the tourist loaded square or main road. These are family run places where the locals eat. Again, look for a place with a lot of customers.
- Walk on foot around town. Get lost on purpose. Find establishments — shops, cafés, restaurants, galleries — that match your taste, and ask questions with the folks there.
- Ponder social needs other than freedom and democracy. Seek out political street art and find out what it means.
- If you go to church, dress appropriately for the service. Shake hands with the priest on the way out. Chat with parishioners. Sometimes they have a breakfast or a social hour after mass. Go for it.
Contact a blogger or a person belonging to an organization
Goggle a blogger or two in the city or village you plan to visit. Respond to their post. Become a friend. Chat about your upcoming trip. Any suggestions? Maybe you can meet while you’re there.
Do you belong to an organization or association? If so, Google it to see if it has an affiliate in Italy. Contact a person in your affiliate. Start chatting.
An opportunity for a single traveler to make a deeper connection with a local
Single travelers can make an arrangement to sleep on a couch at a local host residence free of charge. Benefits: You’re coming away with a deeper memorable moment by spending time with the host and you save money. Also, one can pick-up some great insights on places to see and events to go to.
Your gestures – could be a killer
You might accidentally use a non-verbal gesture destroying your connection efforts. Become familiar with Italian gestures Warning: A couple of the gestures shown in the hyperlink are obnoxious.
Also, when you’re in Italy, you might find locals:
- Staring at you.
- Screaming at each other.
- Don’t smile when giving you customer service.
Ignore them, it’s not being rude. It’s being Italian.
What will be the memorable moments from your next trip?
Imagine a place to visit. Pick-up a good guide book. Put a plan together using some of the tips cited.
Gain familiarity with using the tips by practicing them beforehand in your own city or town.