For fifteen days in the month of March, I had friends visiting me, from three different cultural milieus in USA..A Native American couple from Nebraska, a leisure bound couple who lived by the bay in Miami and a Doctor from Little Rock, Arkansas, who maintained a second home in Puerto Vallarta.
Most tourists bring their eyes and their second eye the camera, but do not see. Some bring their sights and enjoy the people, the first becomes a memory, the second becomes an experience. Memories by nature can be forgotten, whereas experiences add to your character and the sense of having lived.
Also, if you bring your past experience of travel with you, on the outside, you would end up comparing one place to another thus degrading the presence of yourself in the new place. Each place is unique, not because it is better than another. The happiest people I have met in my life were not from richer countries or leading professional lives, but the humble people who are grateful for what they have in their meagre lives.
Thus comes the philosophy, be humble, be grateful and whenever possible be of help to people. If you are interested more in buildings and the bay than in people, you will neither make a deep attempt to get to know people nor would their welfare be on your list. The young American indian couple, who had been out of the country only once, came laden with gifts for people they might meet, even though they did not know much about Cuba, and the gifts they bought were symbolic of their culture and received with gratitude by the Cuban friends of mine. Americans in general are very generous people, but mostly with material things and to be a traveler, one has to be generous with time
Because in a friendship, the greatest gift is the gift of time.
My short career as a Tour Guide ended on the 18th March 2017 as I wish to host no further tourists to my island.