When it comes to traveling anywhere there’s always the hopes of getting in the know and basking in the glory of a true locals knowledge. I’m not talking about some minimum wage snow carnie that’s bumping chairs and gets to ride 2 days a week or that burnt out desk jockey with a real job that brags about living in the mountains. No I’m talking about the true local that is there to ride, it’s their life, and their being. It’s these people that truly possess all the local knowledge.
It’s this knowledge that can save you headaches and hassles when visiting some exotic snowboarding locale. Think about when you travel somewhere what do you usually encounter? Probably over priced food, long lines, and chances are you never get the real goods. Could all of this have helped you optimize your trip? Well if you’re asking yourself that question or even milling over it then chances are it would have.
With all the various online communities and social networking sites you see people claiming “local” status and tossing out information. Is it necessarily the best? That’s a 50-50 gamble right there as any true local is very cautious about allowing an “outsider” to bask in their wealth of knowledge. Chances are if a guys willing to blow out a spot or give a secret about a restaurant to the online world he’s not a true local and more or less just some blow hard that wants recognition of some kind.
So how do you get a local to share in their plethora of wisdom? Well you can always bribe them, but then all you’re doing is buying your way in and probably going to end up with some not so local knowledge. You could befriend them but as you’re just another person that’s there for a week then gone they’ll probably not want a disposable friend. The final option is just be yourself, be honest, and don’t expect to gain anything out of talking with a local. This is the method that I find usually works 90% of the time, as most people are willing to let you in on some secrets if you’re just stating the obvious.
The big thing to understand with locals is that we know we have to serve you to a point. We have our lives in these areas because your spending money brings in the revenue for us to survive. But that does not mean that we want to hang out with you when we unwind. Understand that when you ask “where do the locals hang out?” we don’t necessarily give that information away. It’s like sharing how to avoid long waits, do we want to blow that secret and suddenly not have our quick in and out? No, no one wants to let go of this knowledge.
Just remember when approaching a local for their knowledge you might not get the gratification you want. Take it in strides and relax you’re on vacation go have fun.