Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Greet expectations

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In the growing movement of 'Greeters', locals volunteer their time to show visitors a truly local side of their hometown. Photo / iStock
In the growing movement of 'Greeters', locals volunteer their time to show visitors a truly local side of their hometown. Photo / iStock

Of all the people I've met, the people who think it's fun to meet people have been the most fun to meet.

You'll have to forgive the Seussian intro. It's just that, in today's Travel, we meet some people who like meeting people.

In the growing movement of "Greeters", locals volunteer their time to show visitors a truly local side of their hometown. No money changes hands. You just wander about with a local showing you the sights in their neighbourhood. By definition, the kind of people who volunteer for this will be "people-persons"; happy to show you around.

It sounds a fine scheme to me. One of the common laments of modern travel is the lack of authentic local experiences and connections with local people. There are many websites where you can get information (globalgreeternetwork.info seems a decent place to start).

There are probably some caveats to bear in mind. These aren't professional tour guides so, while you might find out which local cafe is your Greeter's favourite, you might not find out which local cafe is the best, or the most popular.

All three might be different.

It could even be that the Greeter will point you in the direction of a cafe run by their cousin. But, hey, that's a rort professional tour guides have been working since forever.

Get out there. Meet and greet.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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