Some places feel a lot like home, others far less so, but most of them are home to someone.
The exceptions I’m thinking of are the deserts and wildlife reserves I’ve visited in Southern Africa, the Galapagos Islands and the Falkands Islands, where there are few if any (human) residents.
But when I’m visiting somewhere where locals live, I’m a proper nosy parker, so I love the glimpse into other peoples’ lives, their culture and societal norms, the way they work and the way they spend their leisure time. I like seeing what’s the same as it is in my home town, region and country and what’s different. That’s probably why countries that are almost but not quite like my own (such as France and Scotland) interest me as much as those (like Japan and Peru) that are completely different.
One of my biggest pleasures when visiting an urban or suburban destination is to spend a happy hour or two browsing a local supermarket. Who else loves to do this? And what else do you like to do to gain an insight into the lives of the locals where you visit?
Since coming across this quote a few months ago, I’ve been reading author Vera Nazarian‘s work – some of her work is science-fiction, which I love, so it’s a great fit. Do check out her books yourself!
A few years ago I enjoyed a wonderful press trip to Parma to learn how Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese) and Proscuitto de Parma are made. We enjoyed some utterly delicious meals while we were there, and of course the chance to shop for a few edible treats to bring home. This is the Castello di Torrechiara (built in the 15th century by a local noble), located about 15 kilometres from the centre of Parma.
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