Localism and Location Independence

Valley in AustriaWhile traveling through Europe during the last weeks, getting invited to warm beer in England and cold sausages in Austria, a question came to my mind: If we live location-independently and travel around a lot, is it still possible to be part of local communties? Hint: Expat meetings are not part of local communties.

Why should we care, you ask? Locals provide new points of view. Locals take you to the bars unpatient tourists never get to. Locals know the real secret spots that will never make it into the Lonely Planet. Locals often don’t know about location independence, but would probably be a great part of the community.

The next time you leave the house, why not skip Starbucks and go to where the locals are hanging out? If you’re living location-independently, why not live culture-independently as well and open up your mind for new things every day? The greatest risk you take is having to learn a new dance and making a fool out of yourself in front of a bunch of friendly amused strangers.

Concerning this topic, cf. also the nice and enjoyable Going Local Travel by Vicky Baker! The Idle Musings are short posts of 300 words maximum. They are published on The Friendly Anarchist every other Tuesday. Grab the RSS feed to get them right into your reader.

Featured Comment by Nate: “[…] we can experience new things right where we are. […] If we look within our own community we can find new things to do whether it’s going to a play, seeing a local band or just taking a walk down a street you’ve never been down before.”

Comments 6

  1. Nate April 6, 2010

    What’s great is that we can experience new things right where we are. I think many of us get caught up in a familiar way of doing things. Going to the same places, coffee shops, stores, etc. If we look within our own community we can find new things to do whether it’s going to a play, seeing a local band or just taking a walk down a street you’ve never been down before. And hey…like you say…maybe you’ll even learn a new dance!

    • Fabian April 6, 2010

      Thanks Nate, 100% agree. I just put a quote of your comment up to the post, because this observation truly isn’t limited to LIPs!

  2. Earl April 6, 2010

    Agreed! That’s my biggest problem with guidebooks as, despite their obvious value, they tend to eliminate interactions with locals and truly cultural experiences.

    If we choose to travel, we should be willing to put ourselves outside our comfort zone and we should be excited about the opportunities for local culture. Often times, the familiarity of Starbucks and other similar establishments tends to make us forget about those opportunities or not want to deal with the challenges involved in finding them.

    But that is where the greatest rewards await us – being unable to communicate in a local bar, visiting places that guidebooks don’t mention, jumping on a local bus and just riding it until it reaches the end of its route…

    Sorry for the rambling! But I really enjoyed this post!

    • Fabian April 9, 2010

      Thanks Earl, glad to read that. Our approaches to travel seem to be quite similar! :)

  3. Walter April 6, 2010

    A fully agree with you here concerning locals, in fact there’s a lot of interesting information and ideas we can learn from them. :-)

Comments are closed.