Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why do you travel?

Every time I visit new places, I try to hold on to the good memories of that trip, to the point where the memories becomes stories of their own. It's not necessarily a big issue, but I'd like any excursion or journey to matter. I try to thoroughly enjoy any travel, specially when visiting other countries. I like to experience something unfamiliar. Not only limited to food, but most relevant to this blog, I'll say that trying out local food is a big deal for me on trips.  And that's probably not that uncommon. What seems to be uncommon is to remember what you experienced. What you ate, saw, heard. What specific places you visited. The good and bad of a certain place. The people you met and talked to. I fail to see the reason of travelling, if you don't make an effort remembering this.

I expected to come back from New York with a wealth of stories, because in the end, that's really what travelling is about. Experiencing - and if you're like me - retelling the stories.

For this blog, I'll leave you with two of those stories, the first was when I looked for the toy stores of NYC. The second one is a big article about various restaurants, where to get good food in the big city. It will take a little more time to write that one, and I aim to have it out Thursday.

But the remarkable thing is.. Am I the only one that does this? Surely I can't be alone in actually remembering what I experience when I'm out travelling? Wouldn't other people also have specific memories connected to certain places they've visited? I mean, what other reason would you have to travel?

Here's the thing, leading up to my trip to New York, we did a lot of research. We tried to locate places of interest, or rather places we could be interested in visiting. And in this process, I talked with a lot of people who also had visited New York. I asked them: Got anything to recommend? Any places I should try to visit? Anything interesting, out of the ordinary I should know? Any stories of interest to share?

The answers I got usually went along these lines: Oh, you should totally go to see a show on Broadway! Oh, you should totally go shopping on Times Square! Oh, oh, oh... And that Statue of Liberty is worth checking out!

Don't mistake me for an asshole, I appreciated their advice, I took their advice and did see a show on Broadway, I did go shopping on Times Square, and it was great! Sadly I did not find time for the Statue of Liberty.

But these are probably very near the top five tourist attraction of the city, and nothing I couldn't read in any and all tour guide of NYC. No one suggested good areas/museums/monuments/art galleries that I should make an effort to visit. No one suggested specific stores of interest. No one suggested what to say/not say to people. Places to avoid. Mistakes not to be done. No one suggested a good place to eat. No one even suggested what food to try.

Obviously it got me wondering. Am I just as clueless were I to give recommendations on the places I've been?

I doubt I can give specific names and addresses to restaurants, but I'm sure at the very least I can give a suggestion what food to try from all of the different countries I've visited.
Italy: Go to any place that has ice cream and get a stracciatella. Amsterdam: Try the most random pancake you can find. London: go to a pub, order a pie.Visit any restaurant that has swordfish on the menu: Go for it! I guess I'm not breaking any ground with these suggestions, but this is just off the top of my head.

And I know I can share a story or two from every place I've visited, that could be interesting for a potential traveler.

I guess it takes time for people to dig out memories. And I really hope that later that night, these people thought for themselves Oh, I should have really suggested that awesome coffee place over at 14th and second. 

But I'm honestly not sure. Why do people travel, if they can't remember anything from the trip?


Anonymous said...

as far i as remember, you knewof a ton of specific stores worth checking out..
wich was obviously in terms of both our interests (wich allready had you aware of them).

Jon said...

That's correct. Some of the best advice came from people who has never been to NYC.