Meeting the Locals – Is a Bar the Best Option?

| January 13, 2014

As a travel writer I travel abroad alone a lot. It is always nice to meet people on the road and it really helps flesh out the reality behind the façade of a destination.

Meeting the Locals in a Bar?

‘Meeting the Locals’ as it were on a foreign trip is not always easy and stay in your hotel bars and restaurants and you’ll probably just meet other travellers. I’ve always found hitting a bar a great way to meet new people. I’m from Scotland and especially in Glasgow you won’t be a stranger for long if you head into a bar on your own whether you want to be or not!

Meeting Locals in Bars Around the World

The reality in Scotland got me to thinking about if heading to a bar works in all places around the world when you want to break the ice. I really think it varies between countries as the fun little video above shows.

Berlin versus NYC versus Okinawa

Here we see three real life situations where actors go into a bar and see what happens when they try to make new friends. I think they are fairly representative.

First up the locals in Berlin are polite and quite helpful, if not gushing in friendliness, which is what I would expect in Berlin.

In NYC the initial reaction to shun strangers as a potential source of danger or hassle immediately comes to the fore, though the lovely chap at the end saves the day for the Big Apple when he gets out of his seat and genuinely tries to help.

Last up it is the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. Again the video shows exactly what I’d expect. The foreign stranger is welcomed like a long lost brother and not only invited to join the locals for a drink, but also even offered a bed for the night! This is the Japan that people who have been there know.

My Top 5 Reasons to Visit Okinawa

If that video got you in the mood to head for Japan and the ultra friendly charms of Okinawa, here are another five reasons to go!

1. Weather – This balmy southern region enjoys excellent weather year round so even when you are chilling out you will not be cold.

2. Beaches – The beaches here are those starched white ones you thought only existed in the pages of glossy tourist brochures.

3. Clear Seas – The clean local waters are home to myriad sealife and living coral reefs with excellent visibility whether you are snorkelling or scuba diving.

4. Forests – The ancient forests of Okinawa are a wonderland of flora and fauna, home to the likes of the Gold Beetle, Japan’s largest beetle.

5. Ryukyu Culture – The unique local culture can be explored through its food, arts and the nine UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This post is ‘Sponsored by Okinawa Prefecture


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