Travelling is a way to learn about yourself, other cultures, and their people. It is an eye-opening experience that everyone should go through at least a few times. Some would even say that those who do not travel are not actually living their lives. Clearly, there are strong feelings about going on journeys and discovering the world.
However, it should be emphasized that travelling doesn’t mean just planning a trip, spending some days in a foreign country, and coming back home. If you really want to experience the full package, then you need to immerse yourself in this new culture.
What this means is to delve deep into the local way of life of the country where you find yourself. This would very much help with getting to know the people through down-to-earth and spontaneous acts, as well as becoming a part of their community. If you act as an outsider, you won’t get to experience much, or it won’t be authentic. Therefore, jump into the new surroundings with open arms, and an open mind. Here are some tips on how you could achieve this experience.
Having a car is the best thing ever. You can drive anywhere, get there quickly, and explore remote areas. Moreover, everything you do, you do it according to your own schedule – no need to follow someone else’s timeline. Of course, taking your own car would be best, but if that is not possible, you can always rent a car. Check the local rental places, or find one by searching via software for car rental companies. This option is easy, and it requires no going to town.
However, if you are staying in a city, it would be best to take walking tours. Walking gives you a totally different perspective, and various opportunities to take advantage of. Also, you get to do it at your own pace. However, if there are longer routes that need to covered, you can always go for public transportation. Take a bus, or a metro, and you will be amazed how easy it is to get around in those; also, it is not so scary. Moreover, you will be surrounded by people who live in the city, not rowdy tourists.
Alternatively, if you want to enjoy something more fun and adventurous, perhaps renting a bike wouldn’t be a bad idea. Let’s say you are travelling with your partner or best friend; with bikes, you could go places, and create a small adventure for everyone involved. It is not as slow as walking, but not as fast as cars; nevertheless, it gives you a great opportunity to easily be on the move, and reach many locations which are not so often visited.
Act as a local
To fully understand your new surroundings and the people living there, you have to act as the locals do. The trick is to blend in with the community. Learn how they think, talk, and behave, in order to have the best time possible. For instance, instead of visiting tourist traps like expensive restaurants, choose something more down to earth, a place where a local would rather go. At these restaurants, you will get better meals, homemade, and for a smaller price, of course. This rule goes for everything else, like bars, stores, and cafes.
Lastly, to avoid being a conspicuous tourist that seems out of place, try to learn more about the local customs. This will help you understand the people, and not offend anyone. Moreover, it would open the doors to amazing experiences, full of pleasant surprises.
Another great idea would be for you to walk among the street markets where residents sell their goods. The reason these markets are great is the fact that everything sold here is homegrown, or homemade. Whether it is ready-made food, fruits and vegetables, or various clothing and household items, everything is original and created with love. Additionally, you will get to taste something you’ve never seen before, and pay a reasonable price for it.
Even better, roaming through the market will give you an opportunity to really interact and connect with the locals, ask them questions, and maybe learn something new. Depending on your preference, there are various types of bazaars. For instance, there are mixed ones, some specialize in only food, or only textiles and clothing. Plus, some are only open at night, while others operate in the early hours of the day. Either way, there is something for everyone, so you cannot go wrong with this choice.
Avoid hotels and resorts
When it comes to finding accommodation, the majority of people opt for a hotel, or something more lavish like a resort. No matter how comfortable they might be, and all the commodities they offer, hotels and resorts still do not give you a genuine perspective into the local way of life, and they are also expensive. Instead, choose to rent a room at a private house, or rent an apartment in a cool neighborhood where you would be immersed in the community right from the entrance door. Moreover, private residencies offer other perks like having local food daily, getting to learn about the culture from a local, and having your own private tour guide.
If you do not know where to look for these kinds of accommodations, consult a friend if you have someone from that specific country, or someone who stayed there. Also, you can check out Google for more options and reviews. One thing to be sure of before officially booking a place is its safety, of course, and that it has good recommendations.
Each trip you take is an amazing opportunity, a chance to explore and expand your view on the world, as well as other people. Grab each chance you are offered, and go for it without reserves or fears. More importantly, try to be a traveler, not a tourist, because travelers have more fun, and see more things. Also, they are not afraid to mingle with the locals, and immerse themselves into the unknown community. Because of this, travelers are happier, and have a better comprehension of the various locations they go to. The point is that they know how to experience their trips to the fullest.