When I end up in a new foreign city as a tourist (or the
beginning of a business trip) I often seek out one or two people I can go to
lunch or dinner with. That way I learn
more about the city and really understand what’s going there.
Recently I had an opportunity to go to Ho Chi Min City
(Saigon) in Vietnam
for a few days. Before going I combed
LinkedIn to find people that were just one degree away from me (we knew someone
in common). I ended up setting up a
lunch with one person who know an entrepreneurial friend and another person who
knew a venture capitalist friend. These
people were enormously helpful to get a lay of the land, understand the city,
and get a good understanding of the culture.
I’ve done this in Santiago, Munich, and many other
cities where I did not know many people before arriving.
If you’ve done this (or you try it) let me know about
your experiences (I look forward to learning more).
Hat tip to Scott Bonds who suggested I post this.
When do you visit Istanbul?
I haven’t done quite that. When I go abroad, I tend to stay at hostels. I find other people at the hostel who want to go out to dinner and then get a recommendation from the hostel staff for quality local food on the cheaps. I’ve met some fascinating people that way and had some really great food.