Living la vida local

7 Conversations

What's interesting near you?

Do you live in a tourist hotspot? Does that thrill you or do you not notice the landmarks all around you? Do you have any tips for those who come from faraway to look at it? Or do you want to draw people's attention to something more off the beaten path instead? What should we do in the evening when it's raining and we have two small children with us?

Do you have places near you that are important to local people, although not nationally or internationally famous? Who are the local heros? Where should we eat when we come and visit you?

What is your all time top romantic holiday destination? Why have you sworn never to go on holiday to St Petersburg again? What should visitors to London do this summer when they are not watching the Olympics?

What about where you grew up? What made that town, street or rural idyl great for children?

What, in short, do the guidebooks not tell us? This February we are compiling an insider's travel Guide to... and we need your expertise.

A collage of cathedrals from around Europe.

What are we looking for?

Actually we are leaving that up to you this month. Below are some ideas, but feel absolutely free to contribute to the insider's travel Guide to... in whatever way you see fit.

Why not write an entry for the Edited Guide about places of historical interest, natural beauty, or the just plain weird? Plan a tour. An itinerary for someone with just one day in Edinburgh. Or describe a local fesival. There's also your favourite restaurant (or pub), or the best place to eat borcsht in Kiev. Comprehensive or succinct, it's all good. And if the entry you have in mind already exists, perhaps you'd like to cast your eyes over it and see if it needs updating.

If it really has all been done, or just if you are in the mood for something different, you could use your journal to write about the last big day out you had, your memories of childhood holidays or just provide a list of great hotels of the world you have stolen towels from.

And the Post would almost certainly be interested in your reminiscences and reviews as well. Submit them straight to the Post team, or drop into the Alternative Writing Workshop first.

How about some creative writing? Spend some time sitting in a cafe, the town square, near a market. Watch the people going by. Where are they going? Who are they meeting? What are their stories? Or perhaps you would like to explore what would happen if the most famous statue in your city came to life? In poetry? Not to mention the romantic possibilities of travel for a story or a poem, just in time for Valentine's day. And there's always our 42-word story challenge, still ongoing. This month the theme is 'landmarks'.

We mustn't forget visual, or even audiovisual challenges. You could take photos of the same landmark in different conditions or times of day. Or, create a gallery of unusual angles of famous places and task us with identifying them. Special kudos will absolutely be given to anyone posting anything on youtube in the medium of interprative dance, although a personal guided tour of all your favourite spots would be most welcome as well. As would managing to find or create 42-themed phtographs that also manage to reference this month's topic for the ongoing photography exhibition.

A waterfall in Yellowstone Park.

I'm in!

Whatever you choose, just start a thread below or drop a link to an existing thread if you think your contribution is relevant to that. And it might be nice to collect examples of things researchers have already covered on this topic. What's your favourite piece of travel advice in the Guide? Your favourite review in the Post? Your favourite holiday journal by a fellow h2g2er? Your favourite photo or cartoon? Add them to the list.

And remember, what you are playing for is one of these hand crafted badges, designed by Tavaron da Quirm.

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