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Jul 13, 2023·edited Jul 13, 2023Liked by Patrick Gourley

I'm always confused by people's interest in having a "locals experience" while traveling. For one - this is probably not possible at all, and certainly not possible if you don't speak the language. And secondly - I don't even know why someone would want this! Most of my "locals experience" in Chicago is waiting to be crammed onto the CTA and making food at my house - not a very exciting holiday!

I think what people are really referring to is the pace at which they travel - which doesn't allow for much if any depth. The typical American "whirlwind tour" of Italy where they hit Florence, Naples, Rome, and Venice in a week can certainly detract from having any "cultural" experiences. I think slowing things down and spending more time, especially in cities, can give people a lot of what they are looking for. As an example, after a week in Palma de Mallorca on a recent trip, I had certainly developed an understanding of the roads, some local rules about cycling in the downtown, and found a favorite gelato shop!

All of that said - was I "living like a local"? Nope - and I don't want to. To your point - I think that will just lead you to where your guide gets the best kickbacks, or where people at a restaurant stare at you because you don't speak their language - neither particularly enriching. Besides - locals in Spain eat hamburgers and pizza too

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