Long ago I learnt the joys of staying with local people when I travel. Locals know the best places to eat, the best things to do and provide real insight into any countries visited.
In the past I have used websites like couchsurfing to find locals willing to host travellers. I think back to when I traveled in the early 1990′s, without the use of mobile phones and the internet and wonder whether ‘now’ the best time ever to travel? Smart phones, social media and wi-fi available is most parts of the world make it easier than ever to connect with locals?
I have been making videos now for over 10 years. Many people have watched my journeys, such as the Camino and have been inspired. Many also dream of just hitching up a pack and hitting the road as I have done. I’m lucky now that when I post on social media of my next journey, I have people contacting me wishing to catch up. I feel very privileged to be in this situation. For me it has always been the people I meet that makes travel so special, they help me to understand their country in ways no book or film could ever reveal.
I’m currently in America and already I feel the warmth of it’s people. A simple bus trip from LAX to Santa Monica and I found myself the centre of a group conversation about my homeland. It was a wonderful feeling to see the conversation warm, strangers connect, and me, the traveler in the hat, wide eyed and smiling, happy to be on the trail once again!
I’m currently staying with Laura and her husband Matt, two cheerful Californians who also aspire to see more of the world. Laura, a lawyer wishes to fulfil her dream of hosting her own travel show catering for women travelers over 35. Tomorrow Laura and I will shoot a small feature highlighting her beloved Santa Monica Beach.
I find it inspiring that now, via the use of the internet, I can put out a call about ideas for new projects, and around those ideas manifest local people willing to provide advice and guidance.
Maybe there are no more new unexplored places to chance on such as in the age of discovery. But this period now, the age of the internet, definately provides awesome opportunities to meet the locals. And there is nothing more delightful, than arriving in a new country and having someone ready to meet you!
The best time ever to travel……what do you think?