Picking the first few destinations for the Global Culture Tour is a matter of convenience. We think we’ll cover 4 or 5 micro-regions before the end of the year and we hope their variety and the fresh content will keep people interested while we produce more. As I mentioned in previous posts, the first one was a very simple decision: Coyoacán is very close to my heart as I lived there many years, but it has also been able to maintain its personality throughout the centuries (yes, it is that old). During recent visits I grew confident that although Mexico City has many things to offer, the global citizen would find in this particular area of the city an interesting retreat from all the fast-paced action that takes place everywhere else.
The second destination will be an area in my current city: Toronto. Deciding which particular neighbourhood, however, has not been so simple. Toronto has many faces and changes very fast. I’ve been looking back at my own notes about what makes an ideal destination for the global citizen and keep bouncing between two areas: St. Lawrence Market and Queen West. While one has been maturing for a century and has consolidated itself as a top destination for locals, the other one seems to be the hotspot for a new generation and while it lacks the infrastructure, acts as a magnet for very interesting people and projects.
A comparison wouldn’t be fair, but deciding which one of the two neighbourhoods is more likely to attract the global citizen I keep saying to myself that it can’t be too touristy. After all our global citizens have developed travel skills beyond the average tourist and are more likely to explore new areas of the city. But there is only so much time you would spend at a place that has an interesting strip of restaurants and galleries. Finding the right balance between edgy urban innovation and established Main Street must be done with the needs of our travellers above all.
The global citizen is likely to travel with a purpose and as such will require quick and easy ways to network, connect and set up shop. Sometimes he will travel for a few days and sometimes he will linger, falling in love with a location because of its spirit and variety. As a person who has mastered the art of working off-hours, he will set his own pace and will be able to mix a good dose of entertainment. Above all he will only be content with a place that because of its character will teach him something new about life and that is not something easy to accomplish.
I find that the problem with trying to be too edgy is that like any adolescent, you’re still working on your personality. It’s just a matter of time.