I was editing an article, here, about a small local village in Maine – Greenville Maine – when the thought occurred to me that among the many reasons I travel and the values I bring with me when I travel is a desire to support local economies.
I don’t mean this as a trivial thought – supporting locals and their economy. I don’t mean this as a trifle. Nor am I suggesting that I am somehow more thoughtful or noble than any other traveler. I simply mean that, whether we realize or not, whether we keep the thought in mind (and in our planning) or not, our adventures can be of consequence not only to ourselves but to others whom we pass along the way . . especially when we choose not to fly past but to slow down and make local culture part of our adventures.
Hoping not to sound righteous or anything else like that I’d like to suggest that when next you go on a journey you be mindful of the role you play in other people’s lives when you pause to stop and spend your time and “travel money” at a locally owned and operated business.
I’d like to suggest that when given a choice between a local mom and pop convenience store or a big chain, a local “hole in the wall” diner or a familiar “brand” and all the other economic decisions you make that you choose to lean into – to tilt towards – allocating your travel money deliberately to the locals . . selling locally made goods.
I can tell you that, many a time – almost universally – when looking for a place to stop and eat, just by judging by the number of local cars parked outside or by the clean and tidy appearance of a small business (a/k/a pride of ownership) I have enjoyed many a good meal, a welcome experience and many educational conversations with locals, moments that made the journey richer.
Richer, by simply slowing down to take a second look and deciding to venture the stop in one of the many small towns and villages that dot the American landscape.
Get off the interstate. At least for an hour or two. You will be paid back for the “time lost” (it never is) flying down the highway.