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Does anyone ever "meet the locals"?

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People often include meeting locals in what they want to do when they travel. Does anyone really meet "locals" when they travel?

That's not my goal when I go to Europe. I want to see the architecture, take in the ambiance, see the countryside. When I meet people I usually enjoy it, but that's not why I travel. I want to learn about the history and culture, and I guess that's pretty hard to do without interacting with the inhabitants of the area, but it's secondary or tertiary for me.

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