Traveling in this day and age is more of a lesson in how global culture is interpreted through a local lense then it is about experiencing completely distinct cultures. Unless your doing some serious off the-beaten-path trek to find a uncontacted Amazonian tribe, you probably are going to find something at least vaguely familiar wherever you go. This is the era of globalization we live in. It’s not something to complain about, or regret. After all, the same forces that make for a globalized culture are the same forces that allow you to travel: cheap airfare, currency conversion, tourist industries, proliferation of the English language, etc. So don’t be afraid of global culture when traveling, oftentimes it’s how global culture is appreciated in different places that reveal alot about the place. One good example of the way a global product becomes unique to a local place is wine.
Wine, once only taken seriously if made by Spanish, Italian, or French Wine Producers
, is now produced all over the world (they still are some of the best of course, like Chateau St. Roch
in France or Cantina Mesa
in Italy). First California beat France in blind taste tests (an event dramatized in the movie “Bottle Shock”) and since then South American, New Zealand and Australian wine producers
, among others, have become powerful players in the world wine market. Wine is a great thing for a traveler to know about because wineries always have tours, usually ones in which you get to taste alot of wine, and although the process is pretty much the same everywhere there are just enough differences to keep a curious traveler always learning about the art and science of producing a bottle.