Writings on the Wall #13: Travel With Locals

As autumn falls and our thoughts turn to the festive season ahead of us, travel is bound to be on our minds too. In the days of Covid-19, that might be only a distant possibility, since countries are reimposing stricter travel and quarantine conditions all the time.

There is something to be said, however, for travelling with people you know – both friends and family – especially those who have lived in the place long enough to have acquired thorough local knowledge of the land, its people, their culture and their ways and who can help you experience the country or city in a truly authentic way.

Having stayed with old friends on most of my overseas travels and also having visited new countries as a tourist, I have experienced the qualitative difference first hand. Nothing can compare with travelling, exploring, and experiencing a destination the way a local would.

In a rare departure from using Annie Spratt’s photographs – which is what started this series of posts a year ago – I share my thoughts, scattering them to wherever the winds may take them.

It’s been decades since I travelled anywhere outside India on leisure, but I am looking forward to catching up with some old friends and going on a journey of discovery together.

I feel like a migrating bird that wings its way back to familiar ground. Or a flower ready to burst through well-aged walls, when it’s time to bloom again.

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