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Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's the people you meet

It's the people you meet that makes travel cool for you. Not star sights or great restaurants or lively bars, but it's the people you meet at those places, the people you meet on your moves, that makes travel so great. These were the results of my 'what makes travel cool for you?' poll: 80% said it was the people they met; 65% said it was the things they saw; 50% said it was the places they went, stuff they did and what they ate; 45% said it was where they drank; and 25% said it was the stuff they took home and how they moved. If people are so important to our travels, why don't guidebooks tell us more about the people of the places we're going to? If we knew more about the kinds of people we might expect to meet in a place, I wonder if it would inspire and excite us more about that destination? Maybe because there's less written about the 'people factor', because our meetings are 'serendipitous', because there's that element of surprise... maybe that's why our encounters with people on our travels are so memorable. Like this water-seller we met in Alexandria. Would the impact of his surprising warmth and smile been lessened had I have read that I might meet friendly water-sellers in the backstreets of Alexandria?

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