Just as all parents hear advice on raising children from people who don’t have them, all travelers can relate to people who “poo-poo” on where they are going without having been there themselves. I get so annoyed with the people who say: “I hear Rome is overrated.” “I hear India isn’t safe.” “I hear the French ask Americans to stop butchering their language when they speak French.”
When I was in Spain last year, one of my favorite things (along with this bar in Madrid, our Flytographer photoshoot, and all the art of my favorites) was communicating in Spanish. I hadn’t been to a Spanish-speaking country in years and the language came back to me quickly. Though it seemed to be default in restaurants and hotels for us to be addressed in English, I made a point to speak in Spanish with each of our cab drivers. I asked each one for restaurant recommendations and told them all about how our trip was going. I loved it.