I realized the other day that I have never just “lived” in a city. I’ve visited over the years, either staying with friends or in a hotel, but never really experienced some of the differences between city living and suburban living. Take grocery shopping for instance.
At home, I drive my car to the store, get what I need/want for the week, put it in the car, drive home, unload the car, and put things away. Living in the city without a car, it’s different. Here in Barcelona I’ve had to think carefully about what I will buy because I’ll need to carry it all home and up some flights of stairs. Here I’ve been shopping more often and planning meals more carefully. I started noticing that many people were wheeling around what looked like roller suitcases and later realized they were shopping carts in different colors with different designs and all waterproof.
I was taking a picture of people with their shopping carts to post and my Dutch friend asked me what I was doing. When I explained, she said she’d never noticed because that was just the way it was where she lived. That conversation started me thinking about how we humans adapt to different environments, working to figure out what will make it work for us. I think the danger is that we can become fossilized in our thinking and doing if we don’t keep exposing ourselves to different ways of thinking and doing. Perhaps that’s why enjoy traveling so much!