When we travel as a family, we tend to attract a lot of attention. Maybe it’s my wild hair, or the fact that Josh is a bald guy with two gold hoop earrings, or the usually-intruiging-and-often-commentable blend of ethnicities going on between the four of us. I dunno.
Whatever it is, it brings out the chatty/curious in people. One of the things we hear most often is, “Where are you from?” This is not the question you think it is. If we answer, “San Francisco,” the person asking the question will shake his head and try again. “No. Where are you from?”
Ah, yes. I’ve been mistaken for Moroccan, Egyptian, Spanish, Polynesian, Mexican, Indian, Turkish, Puerto Rican, and more. Lots more. I’m normally not the kind of person who gets into lengthy conversations with cab drivers or shopkeepers, but when I’m traveling outside of the states, it just happens. I can’t help it.
People wanna know.
I love that these conversations often turn quickly deep and personal. I love that people share cool stories with us, and show us a little slice of a place that we normally wouldn’t have seen. And I love that my kids get to share and participate in these interactions. It leads us a little closer to the road less traveled, which is one of my favorite places.
So now I’m wondering: how do other people connect when traveling? How do you interact, what do you share? For me, my hair and my skin color are my entree into local culture…what are yours?