… taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself. For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.
~ Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather
Hannah Goldfield, the New Yorker’s food critic, answers the question.
For breakfast, head to the original location of Russ & Daughters, for a bagel sandwich. If you want to expand your horizons, get the Super Heebster—whitefish and baked-salmon salad with horseradish-dill cream cheese and wasabi flying-fish roe. If you’re feeling traditional, go for good ol’ cream cheese and Gaspe Nova smoked salmon. On an everything bagel, of course! Eat it on the street.
Rick Steeves, the man who tires to “inspire, inform, and equip Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening,” has some advice for his compatriots. But they are not restricted to Americans. His suggestions apply to everyone who travels internationally, and not just to Europe.
Travel more like Gandhi — with simple clothes, open eyes, and an uncluttered mind.
By developing a knack for connecting with people and their culture, we become temporary locals — approaching a new country on its level, accepting and enjoying its unique ways of life. When I’m in Europe, I strive to become what I call a “cultural chameleon” — a temporary European. I consume wine in France, beer in Germany — and when I get the urge for a good old-fashioned American breakfast, I beat it to death with a hard roll.
Find ways to really be in the place you came to see. If you can think positively, travel smartly, adapt well, and connect with the culture, you’ll banish the ugly and have a truly beautiful trip.
Read the whole article on Rick’s website. Follow his recommendations and you’ll have better, more enriching adventures.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety. With that said, the vast majority of people are good. Recognize the fear mongers. Be properly informed. Be aware of your surroundings. Be respectful — you are a guest in their country. Don’t attract unnecessary attention — you probably already stand out enough.