Feeling Like a Local Around the World
Wherever I travel, I try to live like a local, at least a little bit. I take public transportation. I buy fruit from markets. I eat street food. I hang out in parks and read. I meet locals on Couchsurfing.
Here are my favorite photos that show living like a local abroad:
In Kampot, Cambodia, being a local means going to the main square every night to play badminton, do aerobics, or just hang out. It’s the place to see and be seen each day.
Despite spending so much time in Italy, I wasn’t able to pinpoint my favorite city until recently. Upon arriving in Bologna, it became abundantly clear — THIS WAS IT. All the charm and beauty of Florence. Some of the best food in the country. And most importantly, a city where you can blend in as a local, unlike Florence.
In Railay, Thailand, several of the climbers have become the new sort of locals — they live at home half the time and in Railay half the time, where their days are spent rock climbing. It’s not a bad place to live.
Fethiye, Turkey, may be overrun with British holidaymakers during the summer, but during November, I was the only local in town — and I LOVED it. You could always with Virgin and take a Royal Caribbean Cruise to see southwestern Turkey’s most beautiful highlights, but I just preferred the simplicity of Fethiye.
In Shetland, being a local means participating in Up Helly Aa, an incredibly local festival and one that few outsiders ever see! I feel privileged to have witnessed it.
I still don’t know the name of this bar in Chiang Mai, Thailand — Sally and I called it “The Hipster Bar” — but we were welcomed by an entirely local crowd and presented with the local drink of choice: Thai whiskey and soda water. And we were promptly admonished for pouring in too much whiskey and upsetting the delicate ratio.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, find a tango milonga and you’ll find the most fascinating people-watching in the world. Forget the tango performance halls — the milongas are were the locals go, and they’re much cheaper.
For me, being a local in Chester, England, where I’m currently living, means getting into the local pastimes. Most importantly, the horse racing! Dressing up, making bets, and cheering the horses on!
And finally, the best way to feel like a local in Hanoi, Vietnam, or anywhere in Vietnam for that matter, is to have pho on the street. Sit on a tiny stool, add some chiles, and enjoy.
#FriFotos is open to all. To see more photos from everyone else, follow #FriFotos on Twitter.
Which photo is your favorite?