When You Travel, Do You See The Culture?
What do you see when you travel? I mean really “see”?
When you travel, do you notice the culture and remember the people where you visit?
Some people who travel think they remember every detail. Others can hardly remember anything once the visit is over.
Do you relate to either group or are you somewhere in the middle?
What do you see in this painting by Salvador Dali?
At this close range you probably see a female form (Dali’s wife). But step back 10 steps or so and look again. What now?
I think most people get both images but it is interesting to see how we focus on one element and almost miss other elements completely.
I’m attending a conference this weekend, and one of the speakers shared this fun video designed to highlight what we see and how attentive or perceptive we are.
To tell you the truth, I was shocked at how much I was missing!
I don’t know how many changes you caught but I got zip, nada, nothing. I thought I was observant, but now? Well, perhaps not so much.
So what does that tell me about how I travel? What am I so focused on that I miss the other details of the place and people I am visiting?
My favorite part of visiting new places is to talk with people and understand what things are in the local language- which is not always the national language!
For example, when we went to Spain, we knew we were flying in to Barcelona. Basic Spanish with some regional dialectical adjustments would work just fine.
From there we drove up the Costa Brava to Tamariu (Begur). Our friend’s (gorgeous) villa sat on the cliffs above the Mediterranean, more in the sea than on the land!
We took day trips out and about, specifically to find Figures and the home of Salvador Dali- where that Lincoln and Gala painting hangs.
By that point, we were firmly in Basque country and Spanish was nowhere to be found. I used my high school French to decipher the place names. I began to notice a completely different culture, nature of the people we encountered and ways of doing things. Now I wonder what else did I miss?
Here’s another fun video. It should be easier now that you’re on your toes.
I hope you enjoyed these two little clips and found out something about yourself.
If nothing else, I think they do serve to highlight how many things we can miss if we just go through our visits without focusing.
With as costly as travel is these days, don’t leave half your visit unseen!