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i-spy-openerYou’ll have experienced it if you’ve ever wandered a little way off the beaten track, and if you’re carrying surfboards with you then it’s a dead cert.

Curiosity.

It’s your curiosity that has taken you there, so it’s only natural that this curiosity is returned.

Adults will often be more restrained, perhaps out of politeness or because they’ve seen your type before, maybe just because they’re not all that surprised; but it’s children who have that real insatiable sense of “who, what, where, how, why?” when they see a stranger in their midst, one who looks radically different and may be dragging a big funny-shaped plank around with them.

But there’s one important thing to remember if you’re seeking or the subject of curiosity: it doesn’t happen if you distance yourself from experience – a nice hotel, restaurants, taking a taxi.

It happens when you’re immersed in the experience – trying to load your boardbag on, in or under the chicken bus, buying food from a market or from a roadside stall, making a mess of trying to speak the local language, bartering, mucking in and getting amongst it.

Curiosity is how we learn. Mine, yours, and theirs. Embrace it – it may have killed the cat, but it enhances humans and it’s a prerequisite for being a surfer.

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