Weekend Travel Inspiration – Robert Louis Stevenson

Weekend Travel Inspiration - Stevenson

If there is one thing that I love about traveling, and even more so with travel blogging, is the friends I’ve made.

While I travel, I actively seek out the opportunity to connect with people.  Most often it revolves around my accommodation, which is the main reason that I never stay in resorts or five-star hotels.  I like staying in family run places, whether it is a homestay, a hostel, a Bed & Breakfast, or a small inn.  It’s easy to talk to these folks who are in the travel business and enjoy their guests.  Often they will find out your plans for the day and offer suggestions for things to do, where to eat, or local things to do.  One particularly fine example of this was when we visited Gruyères, Switzerland and the hotelier’s husband invited us to the morning milking on his farm.  We showed them photos, visited them a second time, and I count them in my list of traveler friends.

I think homestays and cultural exchanges are the best way to learn about a culture and the place that you are visiting.  I’ve done exchanges with Lithuanians, Japanese, British, Chileans, Norwegians, and Turkish people and I think they are the most rewarding travels in my life.  In an exchange, the time you spend with your hosts are insights into the real food, customs, thoughts of the people.  To me, it is such a valuable commodity to be able to make friends like this.

Then again, in the last few years, I’ve made so many friends because of travel blogging.  To connect with people who share my passion has been such a pleasant surprise.  I love emailing people from all over the world from Saudi Arabia to New Zealand, from New York to Chile, and everywhere in between.  In this world of Internet, global business, and easy travel, it feels great to call these people my friends.  You can meet some of my friends by visiting our Rendezvous with Rovers page and reading some interviews, but honestly there are many, many more.

Do you try to make friends when you travel or blog?

 

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21 Comments

  1. We’ve grown to love B&Bs over the last few years – we always meet someone interesting. It’s also great making blogging friends (including you of course) and being inspired by their travel destinations. It’s amazing how connected you can feel to people you have never met through sharing experiences.

  2. I’ve definitely made friends via blogging and also through some family travel Facebook groups that I belong, too. When I was in Penang, Malaysia, there were numerous meetups of travelers in the Facebook group, and I always enjoyed being able to give them suggestions and tips from having lived there. We met up with a few of them when were visiting Cambodia. I think these meetups are one of the things I’ve missed since returning to America. My hubby is an introvert, though, so he abhors the idea of meeting people at a big group breakfast at a B&B or hostel. So, we rarely meet anyone new while traveling.

    1. Michele, I understand. It does take practice to get out there and talk to people. I think I used to embarrass my kids the same way, but now they are just as guilty.

  3. Well I made friends with you so yes I totally agree. We also have just returned from learning how to make paella in Valencia, Spain and not only did we make friends with the chef and his family, but also with some other Spanish people. Needless to say it was a very long lunch and excellent company. The other day we met some people from Belgium in Madrid and ended up going with them to a local tapas bar where they knew the owners. This is what travel is all about.

  4. I have realized that as much as I want to go to a place to see a famous landmark or natural wonder, eat the food or go to a notorious market, it is always the people who make a lasting impression on me. My happiest travel moments include a local who have made the experience a hundred times better.

    1. Ruth, I hear you. That’s exactly how I feel as well. I do think food is a catalyst for making friends, and maybe that’s why food travel has become so popular in past years.

  5. You make some good points about not staying in big hotels or resorts. I favor smaller places and share rental networks too but it depends on the trip, doesn’t it? A big hotel can better accommodate a conference (then it’s not about the place so much) and an all-inclusive resort was just the thing for our multi-generational family group that descended on a Brazilian village. Everyone found things to do that they enjoyed. Again, it drove me a bit nuts to not get out into the village more but I so appreciated seeing the family bond and happy. Will have to return.

    1. Elaine, There are no absolutes, just preferences. I, too, have a large family and love to travel with them, so yes at times a large hotel is just the thing. It all depends on the circumstance. I was mainly talking about just when my immediate family travels, because then we have flexibility.

  6. Milking on the farm in Gruyere, that sounds like fun – my husband is Swiss so would have been right up our street. I totally agree with you that travelling, and blogging is so fantastic for making new friends. Just recently, a blogger spotted that we were coming to Jersey, and we met up with her and will see her again when she comes to London. I love reading blog posts for travel tips too

  7. Hi Corinne, what a wonderful post. It’s so true that travel is made much more rewarding by connecting with people We love eating where locals eat – most of the time we end up chatting and hanging out with some of them. We also enjoy meeting fellow travelers and connect through our shared experiences and interests. We thank Facebook because it makes it easier for us to stay connected we people we met on the road. And , of course, I appreciate all he wonderful people I met through the blogosphere. Although I have not personally met most of you I feel that I have. It great to have this forum and connect with like-minded people. Thank you for hosting this link-up.

    1. Marisol, Exactly! One thing I do everywhere I go is ask for recommendations of the locals for eating, staying, sights to see, natural beauty, the works. It always surprises me the things that don’t make it on the Internet and are fabulous!

  8. I don’t like when people say they ‘travel’ when they mean that they’re touring. Going to a fancy hotel for a few days and going sightseeing is so much different to actually exploring an area and getting involved in the local culture.

    1. Sarah, I hear you! However, I’ve come around a little and are just happy more people are getting out there. You wouldn’t believe how many people tell me they are scared to travel. Such a shame!

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