Today’s Indie Travel Challenge is all about ‘Seeing Yourself as Part of a Rich and Complex World‘. This is one of the values on our indie manifesto values and we challenged you today to photograph where you are, right now, and how you fit into the complexity of the place.
Our Social Media girl, Dani, who is traveling in Colombia, told us where she was and how she fits in.
“Today I am at Parque Floresta. It’s a cute little neighbourhood park, that is a central hanging-out spot in front of the church. Because in Colombia there is about 1 church for every 3 blocks and almost always a little centralized park in front of them.
I like being here because it’s a quiet, regular neighbourhood (ie: it’s not one of the tourist districts of city). Because of this, I find people are more open to me here, more patient when I try to communicate (my Spanish is bad) and they are much more helpful at correcting my Spanish so I can learn. In the tourist areas I find people are annoyed and roll their eyes when you don’t speak perfect, but here I feel treated more equal, not like a tourist just passing through.
(But I don’t believe I’m treated like a true local. The price of a cup of maracuya juice and a pastry on the corner changes slightly depending on the day. But it’s never by more than 30 cents so who cares)
I think it’s when I slowed down to actually live in an area outside of the regular tourist route, I started to feel like part of a community. I may not know many people, or be able to hold long conversations, but I joke with the guys in the tienda, and and know where the good breakfast is, and have even had locals ask me for directions (which I was able to give them, and it felt so awesome!)
Every area is it’s own complex system, and I think the trick is to finding the one you, personally, feel most comfortable in.”
Everywhere is complex and by just being somewhere you are a part of it. But when you find an area that you feel like you ‘fit in’, that’s when you really get to make meaningful connections and feel like part of a community. Even when, like Dani, you can’t always communicate verbally.