Wish you weren't here!
"Live like a local" is a term you find everywhere these days. It's what we say we're going to do to rationalize renting an Airbnb or Home Away for a few days. "Live like a local" has over 6 Billion listings on Google. No wonder it's just something we "willy-nilly" throw out there that we're going to do next time we travel.
Living with a carefully screened host family (free room and board) for 1, 2 or 3 months shows us what it's like to live there. Renting an Airbnb does not. Host families eager to learn English don't decorate their homes (usually) with Airspace. They are full of family, clutter, kids, parents and all of their friends! You're not getting that at Airbnb.
Tutoring English to a host family in Spain, Italy, France or Germany comes with a lot of experiences. Over at Airbnb you have to buy their new Trips packages. And those won't get you a birthday party with the extended family out in the French countryside. Or a family weekend at the beach in Italy. Or a week of skiing in the Alps in Germany. That's living as a local.
As over-tourism, housing crises, and income inequality continue to define urban life in many popular destinations, it appears that tension between “traveler locals” and actual locals has only just begun. “Maybe it shouldn’t be about ‘sustainable tourism,'” she writes. “Maybe what it should really be about is ‘sustainable culture.’ How do we sustain cultures without letting tourists overrun them?” “As a slogan, I’ve found ‘live like a local’ frustrating. Was the intention ever to live like a local? You were there for five days—I don’t know if that can ever be achieved,” Stone said. “On a personal level, though, I’ve found locals to be very kind to me, especially if you take the time to say ‘tell me more’ I want to better understand, tell me about your history family wherever you are.”