Working in news, I’ve meet a lot of famous people. I’m seldom star struck (with the exception of meeting George Clooney) but a back in March I had a moment to meet and talk with one of my heroes, Arthur Frommer of Frommers Travel Guides.
Frommer is the man who, during his time in the army, noticed that many of the G.I.s were too intimidated by foreign culture and money exchange to ever leave their military base. They were missing out on a world of experiences, so Frommer created the G.I.’s Guide to Europe (its civilian counterpart was titled Europe on $5 a Day).
The publication of $5 a Day was watershed event in travel writing, setting the standard and format for nearly every travel book published since. So it was a pleasure and a great opportunity to chat with Frommer.
I asked him about one of our recurring themes here at No Kids, Will Travel: how do you find genuine cultural experiences when you travel? His answer: get lost.
The travel expert also says itineraries are overrated and the randomness of wandering around a city is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture. He says getting lost is an easy way to add to your cultural understanding of a place.
I know from experience that getting lost can lead to wonderful things. I’ve meet people whose kindness has left a lasting impression on me, like Xenos, a man I met while asking for directions in Naphlio, Greece. He was an expat from New Jersey and took us back to his home for refreshments and to a local beach the next day. Those days became one of the highlights of our trip. Because, as Arthur Frommer suggests, interacting with people you meet at as one human being to another opens a world of possibilities and experiences.