The best part of travelling is definitely meeting local people and making friends in the most unexpected places. I am very lucky in that I have friends all over the world; a sofa in every continent with my name on it should I drop by. That sofa waits in my own house as well- a welcome mat for all those I met one night at a bar (doing something stupid no doubt) in a far corner of the globe.
I am always amazed at the generosity of strangers.
(Thank you Chinese bus drivers. The jugs of green tea and vodka were delicious!)
The moments when you are so lost and they go an hour out of their way to get you safe.
(Thank you family in Italy. We had never met you. You didn’t judge our driving, or the fact that we had peed ourselves trying to drive with local Italians. Thanks for finding us a parking garage so we could abandon our car, and take the train instead.)
Those instances when they teach you something you never knew before.
(Give me some tequila, and I’ll show you my Bollywood moves.)
Meeting the locals is what travelling is all about.
That isn’t to say I haven’t had bad experiences with locals as well. (I’m looking at you evil French lady at Gare du Nord.) But the positive experiences outweigh the negative ones- times a bazillion.
Be Okinawa is a campaign by the Okinawa Convention & Tourist Bureau. They shot these awesome videos of travelers meeting locals around the world. Some of the meetings are absolutely hilarious, and some made me slightly ashamed of my culture. They also had me thinking- what are the world’s friendliest cultures? Check out the top 5 contenders, as well as the videos below.
“On the Street”
I love this video. How many times have you approached someone on the street with a question like these? I still do it constantly in London. Lifetime tourist I guess.
The World’s (Top 5) Friendliest Cultures
2. New Zealand
“In the Bar”
This is definitely where I meet the most people when I travel. Fine, this is where I stare at locals while I drink alone in the corner. How amazing is the scene in Okinawa? An awesome moment.
I’d love to hear about your favorite experiences with locals while travelling. Leave a comment below and share the best moments (or nightmares).
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the Be Okinawa campaign. I received compensation for this post, but words and opinions are always my own.