One more challenge

I have a crazy idea. And I will need your help.

I’ve been sharing my trips and adventures for many years. Since the time when I was not able to talk, but to listen. And I always heard the same. “How lucky you are! I wish I could live that way…” I constantly faced the frustration of people that are eager to travel but because of their family, economical or social situation, can’t.

Or they think they can’t.

I am here to tell you it’s possible. The secret is very simple: the place where you’re living is unique in the world and their are people that would love to visit it and that are frustrated because they can’t. Do you also see the problem in the equation? We always think our home has nothing special, nothing exotic. I am here to tell you you’re wrong.

And to propose a challenge.

Would you dare to become a tourist in your own city, neighbourhood, town? I offer you the possibility to rediscover your world with foreign eyes, and to share it with me. But don’t worry, I know it’s not easy. I was already in that situation and I am going to help you.

The first step will be to find the nearest tourist information centre. Get a map and a lot of advice. The second step (and this is the important one) will be to erase from your memory any prejudice about any place. “But there’s nothing in there!” Erased.

You are ready to begin. There are different tricks to rediscover the city. My favourite one is to chose a theme: visit all the museums, skate in all the parks, follow a subway line getting off at all stations, make a list of the best places to try local food o visit always the same tree in order to track seasonal changes. Those are just ideas, possibilities are endless.

The next challenge you’ll have to face is to learn the language. “Sorry, what?” Yes, the language. That’s what one does when travelling. It’s time for you to think about the meaning of what you say everyday. Where those words are coming from, how idioms were originated. And no, don’t use the internet. When one’s travelling there’s no internet. One has to talk to people. This part will be harder. We are embarrased to talk to strangers. Didn’t you want to travel? Go out and ask, with curiosity, where does the expression “it’s raining cats and dogs” come from? A little piece of advice: years give knowledge, ask someone with experience in life. Ask, ask.  “Why is this city called this way?”, “where should I go to watch the best sunset?” Ask for advice to eat, to dance, to go for a walk.

And talking of talking to people… Tourists! Best source of information. Talk to them, help them if they are lost and ask for their story, what are they doing in this place where there’s “nothing”?!

While doing it, take pictures and notes of what you see, what calls your attention, what you’d like to share with those that visit your city.

I’d like to see those pictures and hear those stories. I need your help! I will be waiting for you to send them to me so that I can share them. That way we’ll all be able to see how the best way to travel is to know your own home.

Big hugs,

Noe from Tokyo 🙂

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