Today’s Culture with Travel storyteller is Iain Mallory. Mallory On Travel is one of the UK’s leading travel blogs.
Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love to travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?
Travel for me is about new experiences, meeting new people, travel allows us to live a different adventure every day. While we should celebrate our diversity, we should also recognize and celebrate the things which unify us, rather than concentrating on what makes us different.
What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from (your specific town/city) that travelers may not be aware of?
I think the cultural aspects of Northern England are often misrepresented, overlooked or misunderstood. People here are generally friendly, with a sense of community. Foreign cultures are often readily absorbed, becoming a part of the rich, cosmopolitan heritage of the region.
Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!
Haha, that’s a tough one, anything with gravy probably counts. Sunday roasts, fish and chips and of course black pudding, with varying amounts of gravy qualify.
Share about a custom/tradition you observe, and talk about the role of the family in your life. What does family mean to you?
There’s an old saying, “You can choose your friends, but not your family.” I’ve not been in contact with mine for several years.
Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you.
I am especially fond of street art and the vibrant art of indigenous people, so this particular piece in Montreal really inspires me. Experiencing the energy of a pow-wow and listening to First Nation creation stories in a longhouse are memories which will remain with me always.
Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language.
A genuine smile can communicate a thousand words, and has the capacity to break down any language barrier.
Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story!
Any meeting with a stranger of significant length has the potential to make an impact.
Two years ago in the small Indonesian village of Melo, in Komodo National Park, I had the great pleasure of meeting this special lady. She did not speak English, and we communicated in smiles and gestures.
Last year I returned to the village, initially photographing her grand daughter, until she appeared in the doorway of their home. For just a fleeting moment, a smile of recognition seemed to appear, and I couldn’t help beaming a smile in return.
“Everybody has a story to tell, we only have to be prepared to listen.”