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At home and abroad......

Pragmatic to research the logistics of travel to make effective and efficient the trip.
Consider enhancing your journey by Seeking what you daily enjoy abroad. My wife loves quilting so located (via good old google search) several businesses within the areas of Barcelona we planned to visit. "Quilt" is an international language assisted with phone photos of her work. Walking into the shop she noticed a back room filled with quilters working on a shared project and, despite a linguistic barrier, quickly was welcomed into the guild via her photographic introduction. A pleasant hour ensued, photos taken, a great local restaurant introduced and a wonderful memory created.
I enjoy visiting pawn shops and know successful proprietors have a knack for "being in the know" on a wide variety of local knowledge. So I seek to identify pawn shops in proximity to places we plan on visiting. Investing time visiting these businessess often leads to conversations identifying little known pubs, taverns, eateries and tidbits of information helping to ease our journey. Everyone knows someone and in several cities we gained some "behind the scenes access" due to a shop owners relationship with "someone" (nothing major, but pleasant to enter a place upon the recommendation of a "friend"). Plus every once in a while we find a nice "buy" to serve as trip momento.
So strive to take a bit of your local life and use it to make a connection on your trip!

Posted by
3369 posts

Yes, hobbies do bond people across language barriers. I watched a few women working on intricate looms through an open window on a narrow street in Arezzo. They saw me admiring their handwork and invited me to come in.

Posted by
421 posts

I love to sew....and take pictures of the items I have created and show them to shop-owners when I travel. It helps tremendously when I am trying to describe lace, cloth, etc when I enter a shop. The owners are always thrilled to see what I have....and never fail to try their best to see if they might have anything I am interested in. I showed a sweet lady at a small shop in Beuvron-en-Auge (Normandy area) a picture of the antique baby bar pins I collect....she immediately led me to the back of the store where she pulled out her “private stock” .....I purchased a pin from her....she spoke French, we didn’t! At the Sunday market in Isle de la Sorgue we took refuge in the pouring rain in an antique shop full of gorgeous linens and laces......when I showed the owner the Easter dresses I had created for my granddaughters she opened a closet in her shop and allowed me to help myself looking through her treasures....at the end of the sale she gave me a gift of a beautiful small French perfume bottle. These are the experiences that make international travel such fun!