Interacting with Children - Meeting the Locals

Try interacting with children, especially if you're in a foreign land. It's a lot more fun than you can imagine...

Children playing soccer (football, outside of the US) seem to have more fun.

There are many times when I come across children playing in the street. Sometimes a soccer ball comes my way and I kick it back. I might join in their game and have a blast.

Other times I might get into a conversation with them in their own language. That's when interacting with children starts an impromptu language lesson. Teaching me better ways of understanding their language. It's so much fun, I don't realize I'm learning that much.

A wave from a shy boy in China.

Remember foreigners are as interested in you as you are in them. One of the benefits of slowing down while traveling is that you meet more locals this way.

As you get further from tourist traps and big cities, it becomes safer to interact with the locals.

In fact the locals will point out the thieves to be avoided, since they know who to trust and who not to trust.

Other times, the children themselves are the thieves, trying to snatch a camera or a purse. They can be desperate. My safety section includes interacting with children who might be pickpockets.

A child thief waits his turn before trying to snatch my camera in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I had problems with young pickpockets when I unadvisedly entered the favelas, the poor neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. I ran into this thief (left) in the tram that went up into Santa Teresa district.

My guidebook warned me to stay on the tram and not get off.

I got off, because I was bored and wanted some excitement. I got it. My little thief got off, too, with three other of his young friends.

Together, we spent many nervous minutes seeing who was going to end up with my camera.

Then it dawned on me they were just children, and I was the adult. So I quickly solved the problem by buying them all ice cream cones just like a favorite uncle.

We all sat on the curb in front of the ice cream stand, eating our ice cream cones in total bliss. They simply forgot to be thieves and left me and my camera alone...

You can try interacting with the children of friends or people you meet, with their permission and supervision of course.

Go out and observe and try interacting with children that you meet on your travels. Watch out for beggars and thieves who happen to be children. Watch your valuables, or better yet leave them at home. In fact, I use a less expensive digital camera when I want to interact with the locals. It's easier to hide and I down load the pictures onto internet for storage every few days.

Most places in Europe are relatively safe, if you have nothing on you worth stealing; then you can enjoy the experience more.

A young girl dances to an unseen band in Southern Germany.

Tip: Let the children come to you. You can tell pretty quickly if they have another agenda besides being cute.

Smile and enjoy their company. It's a real international treat!

Here is a quick list of Travel Secrets I found out about on my trips. I hope it helps you in your search for better travel:

Go to the Page on My Way to Travel

Slowing Down

Nervous about travel?

Travel is Scary

Learn to Like Yourself as You Are

Time Slows Down when Traveling

Retirement Plans

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

Being Stupid

The Power of the Open Question

Ask the Unbusy Police Officer

Ask the Locals - They know

Listening - An Important Skill in Travel

Contrast the Old and the New

Some Unusual Travel Insights

Be a Good Guest

Take a Walk - Relax - Enjoy Good Travel

Get Lost on a Bus - I Dare You

Change Course - Follow Someone Else's Idea of a Good Trip

Good Exercise is a Travel Bonus


Interacting with Children in a Foreign Land

Treatment of Americans Abroad


After All - It's Your Vacation

Here is a quick list of More Travel Secrets:

Go to the Page on My Way to Travel

Fun Travel

Family Travel

Senior Travel

Short Breaks

When Do I Take a Tour?

Take a Tour without a Tour

Medical Tourism

Here is a quick list of Different Kinds Of Travel:

Different Kinds Of Travel

Losing Weight Travel

Relaxing Travel

Soothing Travel

One Road Travel

Wild Travel

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