Return to Home Page

January 10, 2013

The Art of Blending In

Picture credit: Flickr/cogdogblog

Vagabonding should be about slipping into the cracks, reaching low, widening our perspectives into the hosts’ societies to enlarge our own ideas of them. Great: it sounds pretty simple on a screen, but oh boy, how it is not. My own experiences of living long term in several host countries have taught me that, instead, to go deeper you have to earn trust. And this is something that does not happen out of the blue. People, every way we look at them, are complex organisms. The brain, especially, has millions of subtle ways to defend itself. Have you ever spent time trying to really weigh the amount of real, insightful information we are getting when approaching individuals from other cultures? Sometimes, the sheer fact of being outsiders – and especially of the white type – is enough to warp experiences.

Spending more time in a single place may help, but at times is not really enough, either; I guess the secret lies in the way we approach people. At times – at least, this is my personal experience- we may look too serious trying to make a positive, authentic impression. The way we try to lower our defenses and expose our real objectives may put off people, same as being too relaxed may indispose them. And most times, people are the only “pieces of information” who may really open up our travels to the best, widest experiences. Trust, however, is a mutual contract and has to be negotiated accordingly in order to propel that subliminal feeling of really having experienced, having been there. I think that without working hard on earning the trust of others, even those who seem the most insignificant at first, we will not find a sense in our own inner research – a consequence of travel. And as much as this post may have brought up my complicated, thoughtful side, I feel of the utmost importance to open up the new year by wishing that every vagabond out there may find himself by earning the trust of others, and being the best human being he can be as he/she crosses the boundaries of this World.

Posted by | Comments (0) 
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, On The Road

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Roger: Your camera technique looks really good and the colors are vibrant. What kind of...

Ric: I have been seriously vagabonding for the past 6 years on numerous trips ranging...

laurent: @ Ani: My wife and I have house and pet sat on many occasions in California in...

Angela Laws: There are vagabonds of all ages and from all walks of life! Like Charlie...

Roger: “When one is tired of London, one is tired of life.” –Samuel...

Jussi: For Dengue: check out Youtube. Sorry to hear about your husband’s dengue....

Jussi: Baños in the case of the city, does not mean “bathroom,” it means...

Charli: Thanks for sharing details of the assignment you are offering Ani! Sadly...

Yves Potvin: A comment for Tom : Your are asking about an hotel in Herat. Il I recall...

Lars: thanks for an interesting post. do you know how common this kind of setup is in...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Vagabonding Case Study: Theodora Sutcliffe
5 tips for how not to chase a deal
Field Report: Nimbin, Australia – Where flower power retired
Vagabonding book club: Chapter Four: Preparation
At its best, travel is indistinguishable from just living life
Post Salkantay trek, Peru
Up Cambodia without a phrase book
Vagabonding Case Study: Luke Armstrong
We all see the same sun
Vagabonding field report: London,UK


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts