Grasp the locals. a group of people in India, mostly children around me
Grasp the locals — People are the backbone of a society

People are the backbone of a society. If there were no people, there were no societies, cities or countries. When I travel I like to listen, communicate and learn with respect . .

When you grasp the locals. When you take your time to get to know “the why’s” in a society.
If you take your time to ask questions and probably answering as many, you get a lot closer to the interesting part of traveling.
If you know the people, you know the country. You may or may not get under the skin of people, but as a traveler you owe it to yourself AND you owe it to the people you’re visiting to take your time and be curious – I know I am! And because of my curiosity I have so many beautiful memories stored in my heart, and it have made me understand, respect, and love people and cultures even more.

Grasp the locals. a group of people in India, mostly children around me

When we communicate, we Learn – it’s as simple as that. No matter who you are talking to; a baker, a doctor, a blacksmith, a homeless, a hairdresser or a child, they all have a story. Everyone has a background worth listening to.

The Children

I  L O V E  children! Their hearts and minds are are honest and extremely curious.
Because of my wheelchair I get most questions from children, because their curiosity is far greater than their manners, they ask TONS of questions, and I rather answer thousands of questions (AND THERE ARE  N O  SILLY QUESTIONS!), than guessing and pulling the words out of the adults mouths. And the funny thing is, adults often have a lot more question regarding my handicap than any child. I’m aware that the brain of an adult is far more complex and thus there should be more questions. Adults are just too damaged with “good manners” to ask.
I have a great respect for all, but I my admiration for children is huge! The fact that the world is new to them, compared to adults, drive their curiosity to the edge, and yet children are far more acceptable than adults.
A typical conversation with a child could go like this:

“So, why are you in a wheelchair?” 
“Because I cannot walk”.
“Huh, but why does your hand bend like that and why don’t you just stand up and walk..? Look you just stand up like this (and I’m shown how), and you put one foot in front of the other, it’s easy!!”
Now I thank them for showing me how to walk, and tell them I will keep that in mind, but the cause for me not walking and my hand is bending is because I have a handicap called Arthrogryposis Multiplex. Then we usually laugh a lot because Arthrogryposis Multiplex is a difficult but also a very funny word. I then ask them if they know someone wearing glasses, and they usually does. And in very few words I explain that the people wearing glasses are doing so because they don’t have a full eyesight, so the glasses is an aid. I don’t walk so my wheelchair is an aid. Well THAT’S real simple, they most likely says. Yes, it is! It’s as simple as that! 

Very often when I was a child, my questions were often answered with a: “You are too young to understand anyway,” and I’m sure a lot of children are. I wish we would all let all children ask as many questions as they like, and I wish the adults would respect that they are children; new small people of the world so how are they supposed to know if we don’t teach them?

Grasp the locals. A group of children in Nepal, around me

Be curious

If we get strange and make distance to one-another, I believe we make a world with prejudice and discrimination because we don’t have the knowledge and the stories of one-another.

So grasp the locals be curious, why not?


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