Our New Blogger, Hans
Greetings from Portland, Maine! My name is Hans Ericsson and I will be sharing ideas, travel tips and stories for your information and enjoyment.Having family all over Europe, travel is a large part of my life, and I look forward to writing more on the blog here at Auto Europe.
Don’t Fear the Locals
A couple years ago I took a solo tour of Ireland. A scary idea at first, it ended up being one of the best possible travel experiences. Basically, I landed in Dublin, picked up my rental car, practiced driving it around the airport for an hour (right side drive) and hit the road. I soon found a safe place to park my car overnight, locked my belongings in the trunk and took off on foot.
After visiting the Guinness brewery and taking a city bus tour, I stepped into the nearest pub for a two Euro ale and some local Irish craic (light hearted conversation). I enjoyed the company of locals all afternoon. I asked many people what they recommended I do, and was mostly told to visit Cork, Kerry and Galway.
It was soon eight in the evening and I mentioned I needed a place to stay. Within minutes I had several people offer me their couch. Then one gentleman came over and said he owned a motel two blocks down, and would give me a room for €20 euro if I would buy the next round. Needless to say I did, and drifted off in a cozy bed around eleven. The rest of the trip was just as fun, as I met many more friendly people, all of whom had excellent advice on where to go, places to see, and what to drink.
To me this was the perfect balance of seeing the main attractions, and experiencing the local culture. If you speak the language and feel comfortable, talk to as many people as you can, you will be glad you did. Locals can provide insightful information that no guide book will ever have. Use your better judgment when approaching people and you will be sure to see some things you otherwise never would have heard about.
Feel free to comment about your experience with locals while traveling abroad!