When on the road, going local is how I usually roll. Many years of backpacking taught me how to trust in the good of humanity, in good karma and in the positive vibes of the universe. This idiosyncrasy of mine, and of fellow nomads, may be difficult for holidaymakers to comprehend. Undecipherable even, for the wary.
So how do we introduce this so-called "immersion" to occasional vacationers who lack time, extra dough and well, credence?
TheWithLocals website is a "marketplace connecting travelers from every corner of the world with locals in Asia offering unique travel experiences and home dining opportunities...". It's an online platform that helps build personal relationships between travelers and locals, that could begin even when distant from each other, at the click of a mouse.
Locals sign up as hosts and offer services for reasonable rates, and travelers sign up to "book experiences". These experiences are sorted into three categories:
WithLocals.com believes that "every person is good at something and that there’s no greater way to earn a living than by doing something you are passionate about.". The site provides an opportunity for people, especially locals in developing countries, to boost their income by showcasing their skills and sharing their knowledge. You might have spent money on a travel agent before, and hey, this isn't really any different. Okay, except the middle-man's slashed. And isn't that a good thing?
Get in touch directly with the locals. Try to immerse, even for a fleeting moment.
[All photos courtesy of WithLocals.com]