It’s how I see this.
People make places and places make people.
They influence on each other so much that they become one.
At least in my opinion.
Don’t you have it the same that when you go somewhere, the impression about this particular place is strongly based on the experience you had there with people? Would Amsterdam be as crazy as it was if I hadn’t met all those Couchsurfers on my way? Would my birthday in Brussels be as cheerful if I’d stayed in a hotel instead of roaming around with my happy t(h)ree friends? Would Erasmus in Spain be that amazing if I hadn’t been with all the beautiful people there?
The Cervantes Square would be just a regular square, like any others to me, if me and my Erasmus friends hadn’t been meeting for a coffee there and talking about life, philosophy and human existence. The King’s Day would just be another national celebrations and Lisbon, oh the beautiful Lisbon, would just be another city break. Surely, when I think about them, first come the images of particular places with those particular people. I’ve always associated those two together.
Why is this so? Maybe because we, people, human beings, are quite unable to live a life of solitude? To fully experience things around, we need to share them with others. Exchange thoughts, feelings, emotions and opinions. Experience it together.
Travelling, and especially Couchsurfing, has been the ways for me to get to know many different places through the eyes of local people. See what they see on every day. Feel what they feel. Visit those scruffy-looking places which turn to be the ones serving the best food in the city. Enjoy the city landscapes from the non-tourist perspective. Chill in the not-so-popular park in the neighbourhood. Plane spot just at the edge of the runway. Watch a football match in an English pub.