One of my favorite aspects of international travel is ability to unplug from the grid. When abroad, I try to “live like a local” whenever practical and possible. That means following cultural patterns and practices of the country that I am visiting. That also means putting limits on my use and access to the phone, the internet and social media. (That should explain my slow replies to your emails, texts and phone calls.)
It may come as surprise to some of you, yet majority of Europeans still prefer to get their information from printed sources and tune into TV, mainly to check on weather and their favorite sport teams. Very few locals follow up on national or international events. In turn, they do pay close attention to local politics, news, and events. (The phrase “all politics is local” is well and alive in Europe!)
My trip so far – and somewhat to my surprise – has been moving very much according to the plan. Short of requirement for face coverings in large public spaces (such as supermarkets, shopping malls, museums, public transportation) Europe is very much as it has been the last I was here in early March.
Lessons learned: Go Global long-standing travel practices and policies seem to work well with new realities. And our “travel like a local” approach means that we been have practicing social distancing long before this pandemic started!
- We stay in private, small, and very clean places
- We travel by private cars or in small vans
- Our groups are never larger than 15 people (our average tour size is 10.5)
- We schedule sightseeing events before or after large groups (we avoid crowds)
- We schedule meals in places where often we are the only customers being served
- We provide ample free time for personal exploration
- We give you control over your travel experience
In other words, short on face coverings, we have been traveling as if the pandemic was here.
More coming soon.