When you go on a tour, the initial instinct is to see as much as you can. By doing so, we usually miss the friendly atmosphere of a particular place, we miss one particular kind of food which makes the place famous, but most of all we miss the relaxation factor of the tour. Trying to relax is the true purpose of a vacation but we rather spend the time chasing after the pleasure of shopping.
When you tour Europe, you will always run into old cathedrals, sculptures, paintings and architecture. It is very true when you see one cathedral, you have seen them all. It will be a lot easier if we can choose 1 single place and spend the time exploring that particular place. You will never be disappointed if you can take the first step to learn and understand the local people. Smile. Introduce yourself. Offer a sincere handshake. Learn what most Europeans do when they greet each other – a gentle hug and a kiss on both cheeks. Never mind the clumsiness of the language. People all have enough intelligence to understand sign language. Do not be inhibited with too many principles. It is time for vacation. It is time to enjoy life with some humour. Open your heart. Ask questions. Offer your feelings.
Pick up some guts and try the local food. You can never tell whether it is a wonder of the world unless you start tasting them. Do not let a little discomfort damper your adventurous mood. Humour is the key here. Enjoy your surroundings and they will enjoy you back.
It will work wonders if you use this simple, self-humour, sincere approach when you are travelling.
The first time when I was in Barcelona, I met this waiter in a tapas restaurant. He was the one who introduced me to sardines and olives. I bought him a bottle of wine. He bought me a bottle of champagne. He sent me a Christmas card and I gave him a message from the translation website. We became friends.
Second time when I was in Barcelona, I stayed in a hotel which does catering in the courtyard. I went to the courtyard one day and there was a group of people having a first communion party for a young girl. The host noticed me smiling and he waved me to approach him. He spoke some English and before you know it, I was introduced to his wife, his cousin, his family, the little girl having the first communion, I could not remember all their names but I used my limited Spanish to greet everyone and I praise the beauty of the young girl and I also claim how handsome the Spanish boys are. I even took pictures with the girl and I had been receiving e-mail from this host ever since.
So, Companeros, put your first foot out and receive some foreign hospitality. That, in fact is what travelling is about.
If you are young enough to remember a band by the name of Sergio Mendes and the Brazil 66, there is a song in the album written by Allan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (they are a rare husband and wife song writing team), by the name of
“Like a Lover”
The lyrics are so nicely crafted and so intimate. It can surely melt your heart.
Here it goes.
Like a lover the morning sun,
Slowly rises and kisses you awake,
Your smile is soft and cozy, as you let it play
Upon your face,
Oh, how I dream I might be like the morning sun to you.
Like a lover the river wind,
Sighs and ripples its fingers through your hair,
Upon your cheek, its fingers linger never having known,
A sweeter place —-
Oh, how I dream I might be like the river wind to you
How I envy the cup that know your lips
Let it be me, my love —-
And the table that feels your finger tips,
Let it be me — , Let me be your love,
Bring an end to this lonely day and night, without you.
Like a lover the velvet moon,
Shares your pillow and watch you while you sleep,
Its light arrives in tiptoe,
Gently taking you, in its embrace,
Oh, how I dream I might be like the velvet moon to you
I sincerely dedicate this song to all the people I know but never got a chance to know them better.
Till next time – a brand new horizon.
(Editor) You can find more travelogues and posts on other topics by David in this link.