I suppose everybody has some rite that the others would call ‘weird’ or ‘odd’ while travelling. I don’t talk about eating ‘strange’ local food or behaving like locals or doing things that generally attract more travelers: I talk about those ‘strange’ and singular attitude that other people hardly understand because they’re just a part of the intimate personal attitudes, deriving from psycho-freudian hidden reasons.
I’ll tell you something about my 6 personal odd habist when I’m in travel (no matter if alone or with someone else, no matter where I go) that I can’t really help doing, in order to make my trip complete.
1 – Looking out my hotel window
Doing things close to the windows gives me a sense of place belonging and wellbeing, I don’t know why and where does it derive from. I just know I need to check mails and maps, having lunch, drinking american coffee, reading and staying there for a while. The less central the hotel is, the more I like obesrving the daily casual development of local life from above.
2 – Looking inside other people’s home window
Ok, I must admit it! I have problems with windows, it’s something that I can’t explain. It’s really not a matter of voyerism, but when I’m somewhere else (out of Italy, my homeland) I like gazing into people’s houses. I’ve noticed that in a lot of countries people don’t hang curtains, like if they don’t need to hide themselves, they’re not afraid of being watched.
Maybe my interest comes after this cultural difference with my country, where there’s no home without amazing, sometimes too rich and heavy curtain making the home more intimate. When I have the opportunity to see other people laughing at home or sitting alone and working or just watching tv, I can imagine their stories and make them up.
I can say that most of my travel novel were born by this weird habit.
3 – Grass resting
I always do, no matter where I go, no matter who with, no matter how cold is outside.
The relationship with the earth is crucial for me; if you’re at ease sitting/laying on the grass, you are at home and that’s why I always try. Then, there are places such as Dublin, London, Vienna and NYC where you can easily sit and listen to street music (street music is another mania that I have to deal with, as in point 6)
4 – American Cappuccino to go
That’s strange mainly because I’m Italian. I never drink Italian coffee abroad. I never want to do in the Italian way for two reasons: I know I won’t like the flavour of it in 90% cases, and even when the coffee is just perfect the situation is not.
An Italian coffee must be drank fast, standing at the bar. No more than 5 minutes. The American Coffee is a long story, you must sip it, it might take more than half an hour. So I prefer to take it and to go. And I really, really enjoy it. I’d suggest all my Italian friends to give up our own habits just when abroad and re-think coffee with another attitude and philosophy.
5 – Restless, epic walking
I don’t like moving with public transport. If I must, I do, but I prefer going anywhere on foot. I always do it when I am alone. 20 km a day are nothing to me and to my feet and I’m really lucky for this. The point is that, if I have a destination to see, that destination is only the last part of a thousand unwaited destinations that will gently deviate my path being part of the adventurous discovery. This can be done just by walking.
If I take a taxi/tube/bus, I have a start point and a destination.
If i go on foot, I have a trip and more stops that will surprise me. I really don’t mind not getting to the established destination.
6 – Enjoying street music
I do enjoy street music like other people enjoy music in a pub or in a theatre. I sit, give some money, and enjoy the whole ‘concert’ for long, even an hour if it’s not too cold outside. I can’t explain the fascination that the street musicians have on me. Maybe because they’re not afraid of people’s reaction, maybe because they look heroic in their open air, un-protected and free art style, maybe because they give a new meaning to the common sounds of any common street.
I like interacting and talk with them sometimes, giving a damn of the destination I’m late for reaching.
Do you have some weird thing you do in travel that you’d like to share?