So I've been wanting for a while to feature interviews with locals and travelers--people who have experienced multiple cultures and thus can define their own and respect any differences. However, this is easier said than done, as approaching strangers (especially those who may not speak your language) can be nerve-wracking. But pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I am trying to learn more about those who are currently strangers to me, until they are strangers no more. Let me begin in the Czech Republic...
It was a warm day, and the sound of the rapidly running river mixed with voices and a didgeridoo. After viewing the picturesque town of Cesky Krumlov via the castle overlook, my darling friend and I sought out a recommended vegetarian restaurant. Entering through some underground stairs, there was a terrace by the water that we settled at. The menu was vast, with vegetarian and vegan dishes from global cuisines. The plates were full of hot veggies and I finally got to try some of the famous Czech fried cheese. Paying the check, the server asked where we were from. Quickly we were surprised to learn that he had been to Baltimore, as it is not a very touristic city. With energetic eyes and a flurry of explanatory hands the man shared his story with us: he was the owner of the restaurant, a traveler with an open heart. He told us, "When I started I was the second vegetarian restaurant in all of the Czech Republic...But now, I believe a lot people are becoming more aware of the global challenges we are going to face. They are becoming conscious."
We asked why he came back and opened a restaurant in that particular place. "Cesky Krumlov is a small town without the small town mindset. It is cosmopolitan but with a tight community."
He spoke of seeing the world and wanting to share his favorite foods from around the world, he went on to simply state: "Travel is the most meaningful thing a person could do in their life."