I have just returned from a fantastic 5-day trip to Rome.
Why is that relevant to you? Because I based my trip entirely on recommendations from the InterNations community and I strongly encourage you to do the same.
The way I see it there are two ways of travelling. You can either take your tourist guidebook with you, wear tourist outfit, and carry a camera around your neck. It's like standing by a lake and stirring in it with a stick. Or you can connect to the locals seeing things and going places you would never have experienced otherwise. This is like jumping right into the lake getting wet and muddy all over. And that's the way I personally enjoy travelling most.
A few weeks before my trip I reached out to the InterNations community and ended up
- renting the apartment of an American near the famous Piazza Navona with a beautiful rooftop terrace enjoying sunsets with a bottle of Italian red wine
- having dinner in a fantastic restaurant off the beaten tracks at Trastevere following advice from a Norwegian
- touring the Forum Romanum with Tom Shaker, an American living in Rome, who I now consider a personal friend
- visiting a great number of beautiful well-known and hidden spots following recommendations from dozens of other InterNations scouts.
In fact I didn't go to one single place that wasn't recommended by any of my InterNations scouts. And all I had with me walking the city was my wallet, iPhone (with earphones), keys, and camera. Next time I may even skip the camera.
It was only the lack of access to my emails that prevented me from connecting last minute to more InterNations people in Rome during my stay.
To sum it up: I'm hooked, I'm addicted. I'll never travel to a major city any other way.
Here's how I did it (and again: I encourage you to do the same):
- I selected Rome from the drop down-menu in the top left corner of the InterNations homepage.
- In the middle section there is an area labelled "Members in Rome". I clicked "More Members" under the frame.
- This led me to "Ask Your Local Scouts". I briefly described my situation and asked a specific question that could be answered in less than 2 minutes. I selected around Protected content from the member list below who I expected to be able to help me by a first glance at their keywords.
- Within 24 hours many people responded to my message. Over the course of 2 weeks I received feedback from around 30 people, which I think is excellent.
I suggest you start your InterNations research around 2 to 4 weeks before your trip to allow enough time for responses and your travel arrangements. Contact the people you want to meet in person again within one week before your trip and have their email addresses and mobile phone numbers with you.
This is how it works. And now: get out and enjoy the wonderful open spirit of travelling with InterNations yourself.
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