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Immersion in a Foreign Culture

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This is The Savvy Traveler. I'm Rudy Maxa. I recall learning in high school that the Heisenberg Principle suggests the very act of observing something changes it. And while Werner Heisenberg's field was physics, the principle applies to other arenas as well. Later in the show we're going to be talking about authentic travel experiences, times when you've stopped being a tourist and blended in with the locals. But Dr. Heisenberg would ask if in blending in, aren't you in fact changing the reality you're trying to experience?

Last summer I piloted and lived on a boat along the Soane River in France's Burgundy region. But can I call myself a bona fide, French river man? I don't think so. I didn't meet many Americans, and sure, I got to hang out in small, out-of-the-way towns. But I also knew that I'd soon leave those villages and return to my e-mail, cell phone world where getting an upgrade on a flight was more important than how the pinot noir grapes of Burgundy were faring.

Still, we try. We long to be removed from our realities, to try as best we can to smell, taste, hear, feel, and breathe the life of another culture. Few of us have the luxury of time to immerse ourselves in another place for more than a week or so. But if we can do it even for a brief time, we can become more "worldly", in the very best sense of that word.

Join us today as we try to immerse ourselves in Hawaii.


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