New Places, New Faces
Throughout this book we’ve emphasized the importance of breaking routines, and vacation time opens up rich possibilities. Go where you’ve never been before. Travel broadens, but not if you seek out the McDonald’s in Paris or the shopping mall in Santa Fe. Make it a point to explore the visual, auditory, and olfactory differences a new place offers. Sample the local food and entertainment, and shop and travel the way the locals do. Try to avoid traveling in large tour groups, and really get to meet people in different cultures.
At every turn, traveling involves something novel for the senses. Spatial maps used for everyday navigation are suddenly unusable and new ones must be constructed. The stress you may feel taking in new sights, sounds, foods, and a foreign language is actually your brain moving into high gear! An afternoon spent talking with the owner of a small shop in a new place may be more memorable (and better for your memory) than going to yet another “must see” sight.