To travel the world is a dream of mine and see it all, but I hate the idea of being an outsider intruding when I can fit in and mould with the culture I’m experiencing.
Tourist is a horrible word, when I think of tourist I think of outsiders, those who we treat different in our community coming in to catch the action of our lives to only run back to their own country, I go to different countries to become part of a community, indulge in local tastes, sounds and experiences and preferably give something back.
I stayed with AirBnB on my recent trip to Barcelona and Benicassim, it’s a concept that utilises helping other people out. I know family in New Zealand and Australia that have a spare room in their apartment overlooking some of the best views in the world, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a hotel.
I like the idea that you’re helping and supporting local people, whilst having the added benefit of experiencing a city/town/country as one of them and not treated any differently.
One of my favourite things to do is try different foods, and whilst restaurants can prepare me dishes I love going to local supermarkets and making these dishes myself, a whole new sense of achievement is introduced once you’ve mastered a foreign dish, and as well as helping out these markets you get to try something new in the comfort of your own home.
We booked a beautiful apartment in Orapesa Del Mar, a beautiful and quiet part of the world so at night time we escaped off to Benicassim to party and revel in carnival atmosphere and retire to a colourful, beautiful town with views of the mountains, sea and city. With only a 15 minute walk to the beach and some of the most delightful Seafood Paella and accessibility to markets, stalls and experience culture like no other I was head over heels in heaven.
I celebrated my 21st birthday in my apartment and bought tons of fruit, Guin prepared me a refreshing fruit salad as we gawped over our balcony view, it honestly didn’t seem real. There was no disturbance, not a solitary sound, no cleaning lady, room service, checking in every day just the brief momentary entwinment with another Spanish person or our host, it’s how a holiday should be, completely undisturbable.
My tips on how to explore the world like a local is to experience everything from the perspective as someone living there. Maybe if you can communicate with a local as to what they like to get up to, what’s the best foods to buy and go for a stroll, so really get inside the mentality of living it.
The benefits of staying amongst people make great stories to tell, you meet amazing people and don’t feel hurded like cattle in a hotel. I can’t explain the good feeling I got by helping out somemone who needs my money more than a commercial hotel.
If you’re hoping to go to Spain please check out Orepesa Del Mar, I’ve never seen anything like it and so few tourists in the height of Spains summer. We stayed at the Casa Arizo which is both a hotel and apartments, this is the listing for where we stayed at the Rustic Med
When you’re a local anywhere, you belong anywhere!