What makes a place special?

I’m often asked this question because the object of City Walker is to share with its users local places they will love. The app does this by prioritizing users’ point of views, so you’re getting an honest assessment of a restaurant or hair salon.

But the reality is that all of those businesses are similar in that they are made up of four walls and run by people trying to provide a service to others. What makes a place so special is rarely the place and so much the people we experience it with.

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I was once traveling overseas and I met an older man who spent 6 months out of the year in Asia. As I spent a few days with him on the same tour bus, I noticed that, unlike everyone else, he never took a picture of anything. In fact, he didn’t have a camera. I asked him why and his answered shocked me.

“I would have no one to show them to.”

I think about my experience on that trip and how many times I said, ‘oh I can’t wait to show my family this picture and explain all of the details’. Or ‘I wish so-and-so was with me here because it would be so much more fun.’

Things like who you are with or what happened on a certain day play a major role in how you experience a new place.

I have a friend whose family eats the same strange meal every Easter. It consists of sausage, potato salad and some sort of beet relish or something. Honestly, it isn’t very good. But it was the first meal his great-grandfather ate after returning from a prison camp during WWI and so, naturally, to him it was the greatest meal in the history of food. And so his family ate it every year. And you know what, my friend loves it too! Because that meal represents his heritage.

Food and culture have power in our lives and that’s why when we travel for fun, part of the excitement is the discovery and sharing that discovery with our friends and family. City Walker can help point you in the right direction and even recommend places that we think you’ll enjoy based on your preferences. But no matter how advanced technology will get it can never take “the moment” away from us.

It is always our choice whether this next meal is the greatest of all time or if this pic will be a memory we cherish forever. The key is to go out and explore and see what happens. So get out there and start discovering!

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