Friends are getting ready for their first trip to Spain and feeling a little pressure to “do” all the things in the guidebook. It made me think about how I like to engage with cities I visit, and I realize it’s not much different than what I like to do in my own city.
I visit neighborhood parks and playgrounds, eat in neighborhood cafes, and I walk (or take transit) everywhere. I love it because I get to see real life up close and personal and not what the tourist board wants me to see. Even at home in Seattle I’ll take in the block-buster exhibits at the art museum, but I really enjoy spotting street art on those neighborhood walks and along transit lines. That art feels like much more of a connection to the current trends, politics and emotions of a place.