When on the usual tourist trail I often feel like I am not really in the the place. Like I’m in a bubble with a barrier between me and the place.
My son and I had a talk about this isolated feeling. It is easy and comfortable when traveling in a group to create your own bubble. Especially if there is a language barrier. But it leaves us feeling like we missed out on something. When the two of us travel together we try to interact with others, both local and fellow travelers. But with the emphasis on local.
Not being outgoing I am not comfortable striking up a conversation with strangers. One way to engage with people that I am comfortable with is to offer to help them. This usually involves offering to take a picture for someone who is struggling to take a selfie or to take a picture of a couple or family group together. Sometimes it is picking up and returning something that is dropped or blows away, or reaching something down from a shelf.
These little interactions break the ice and make me feel less isolated.