Most people travel to satisfy their curiosity, see the sites, learn about a different culture, meet the locals, taste different food and drinks and generally to have a good time and a break from the routine of work and life. I am just back from my off season break in Southern India where I enjoyed beaches and Winter sun, did yoga, learned about Ayurveda, visited an ashram, tasted all kinds of weird and wonderful Indian food and took a Keralan cookery class.
One day I met a lady called Tina who runs a shop beside my hotel. She’s 27, has 4 kids with her husband from an arranged marriage when she was 13. She asked her parents for more time, wow I didn’t really have a concept of time at 13! She married at 16 and had her first child at 18. Tina can’t read or write but is a good businesswoman. She tells me of the difficulties of running her shop – high rent and bills for little profit whilst working 13 hours a day. She knows she will never have the chance to leave India but is curious about the rest of the world. She is happy to talk about life in general, the differences especially for women from 2 different cultures. She will never enjoy the liberties and privileges I take for granted.
Aside from the things I came to do in India, local interaction like meeting Tina is what I value most about travelling. We will never fully understand each others lives but chatting with her and meeting her husband and children was something I will always remember from my trip.
I think this is also a fundamental part of your holiday experience when visiting Ireland as we are known as a friendly race with no shortage of chit-chat. The cultural difference may not be a wide as mine and Tina’s but hopefully you will get to enjoy Irish humour and story-telling over a pint in a local pub. Tina has never had a drink in her life and I would definitely not recommend travelling to India for a beer tasting.