Nothing competes with this experience.
Morning. Wake up. The whole WORLD is out there.
Dress without eating or showering and go on morning walk for 15 minutes. Find the best coffee shop around, the one that the locals use.
If I’m travelling, I will have done some actual research the night before to choose the best one, and the route that will take me there. If for some reason I have not chosen accommodation in the busy centre of where I need to be – which is unusual because I weigh up my time against my dollars and try to stay within walking distance of the most interesting part to maximise exploration time – then I will have mapped out a route to find the best coffee shop on the way to where I am going.
Order a big, double-shot milky coffee. Smile with the barista. Watch the customers while I wait. Does she come here every morning? Are THEY just passing through, like me? Is he lingering to wait for someone, or to avoid someone elsewhere ?
Sometimes I stay and drink the coffee there, reading the local paper. More often than not, however, I drink it on the rest of the morning walk. I feel a bit more like I am “of” the place I am at, even if I am not “from” there.
Return to where I am staying. Shower, dress, get into the day … but already feel in touch, connected, like some of my day is my own and I have greeted the world already.