Strangers in Har­mony

Consumer Voice - - Responsible Travel -

It took me a cou­ple of more hol­i­days to ad­mit that I had been miss­ing out a great deal by not in­ter­act­ing with lo­cal peo­ple when I hol­i­dayed.

When I travel for work, the pur­pose is of­ten to in­ter­act with lo­cal peo­ple and lis­ten to their views on a va­ri­ety of sub­jects. Per­haps this drove me to com­pletely ig­nore all other hu­man be­ings when I trav­elled for re­lax­ation. Once this sim­ple re­al­iza­tion dawned on me, it changed the way I viewed places. It made me go to­tally off the beaten track and in­ter­act with peo­ple who nor­mally wouldn’t spend time talk­ing to trav­ellers. And this has re­ally made travel

On my re­cent trip in Cen­tral In­dia, I found my­self think­ing with grat­i­tude about sev­eral things – that I could travel – that phys­i­cally, men­tally and fi­nan­cially I did not have con­straints. I am grate­ful that In­dia has such a vast va­ri­ety of places, ge­ogra­phies and cli­mates to of­fer – I can never tire of it. It makes travel so easy – just get up and go! You meet such in­ter­est­ing peo­ple as well. Of course, you meet some re­ally an­noy­ing ones as well – but for ev­ery one of those, you meet at least half a dozen lovely peo­ple.

In Goa, where I live, the tourism zone is along its beau­ti­ful beaches. The beaches that are most popular are Baga and Calangute. Few tourists re­al­ize that th­ese are the names of the vil­lages in which th­ese beaches are. The vil­lages have been there for cen­turies while tourists have only dis­cov­ered th­ese beaches in the last four decades. The peo­ple who live there need to go about their lives re­gard­less of the ebb and flow of tourists. As a vis­i­tor you want to have a good time and party till the sun rises. The lady who lives in the house next door to your ho­tel needs to wake up at 6:00 to be able to fin­ish her house­work and get to work by 9:30 am. Can she af­ford to com­plain each time? No,

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