It is no secret that I like to take a city tour when I arrive somewhere new to get the lay of the land. Walking tours and bike tours also help to get a sense of scale for a place. A hand width on one map isn’t the same on another when  loaded up with all the bags trying to get to a bus terminal. One of my favourites was the Hidden Hanoi tour because the guide explained how culture and history influenced the apparent chaos we saw on arrival. It is that getting under the skin of a place that makes me connect.


Photo Credit: Gert-Jan Mes

Take a city like New York. Where do you start? Sure there are standard highlights that seem almost like a check list of movie sets; Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, and take in a Broadway show. It seems like this skips off the surface of New York and doesn’t let me peek behind the curtain to learn more about how and why people love being New Yorkers.  Then I found the exact tour to put a smile on my face. A guide from led me to the Craft Beer, Cheese & Chocolate Tour, I can enjoy for a few hours on the Upper West Side.Seriously, if you are travelling with someone who doesn’t like at least one of those life necessities, you need to ditch them because that sort of negativity is just not needed.


Photo Credit: sally_monster

This is a perfect tour for me. Focused on a neighbourhood. Something more than a list of facts and figures droned over the speakers of a bus as the sights whip by the window. It is likely that I will have something in common with the other tourist because we will be there for the consumables. It has nothing in common with dragging someone to a museum or art gallery that has little interest in it. It is worth saying again, if you are travelling with some who doesn’t like chocolate, cheese or beer, just stop and send that person home, you don’t need that influence in your life.


Photo Credit: mfajardo