Traveling is about more than just sightseeing and exploring the local sights. It’s about immersing yourself in a new culture, learning from the locals and sharing experiences with them. Here are ten ways you can engage with a new country and its people on your next trip abroad:
Learn the language
You may be surprised to learn that learning the language of your destination is not as daunting as it sounds. Yes, it can be difficult and frustrating at times–but if you approach it with the right attitude and keep your goals realistic, it’s an experience worth embracing.
Let’s start with some basics: You don’t have to know everything about a new language in order for your trip abroad to be enjoyable. You don’t even need to feel comfortable speaking with locals or other travelers! In fact, many people find that simply listening while they’re out exploring in their new surroundings is enough stimulation for them; this is especially true if they’re traveling solo and want some extra privacy during their travels (which we totally understand).
If you’re feeling ambitious though–or just want more practice–here are some tips on how best approach learning another language while abroad:
Take a tour of the culture
A tour of the culture is a great way to learn about your destination and immerse yourself in it. Tourism is a major part of the local economy, so there are lots of tours available. You can find tours online and in local newspapers, but they may be expensive or require booking in advance. If you’re on a budget or don’t have time to plan ahead, try these alternatives:
- Ask your hotel receptionist if they offer free walking tours through their city. They might even know which ones are best!
- If there’s an interesting monument nearby (like an old castle), ask someone who lives near there if they would be willing to take you on a private tour at night when no one else is around so that no one else will ruin your experience by talking during quiet moments; many locals will enjoy showing off their neighborhood’s history as well as giving advice based on personal experiences living there over time (elderly people tend not only have wisdom but also good sight).
Explore local markets
One of the best ways to get a feel for local culture is by exploring the markets. You’ll be able to see what people are buying and selling, as well as meet some interesting characters along the way. You may even find something unique and special that you want to bring home with you as a souvenir!
Don’t forget about food! Local markets can also be great places to sample fantastic cuisine at affordable prices–or even better: eat for free!
Eat our food
You can learn a lot about a culture by eating its food. Try new foods, ask locals what they eat and where to find the most authentic local cuisine.
Experience their religion
- Learn about their religion.
- Participate in their religious traditions.
- Engage with the locals in a way that is respectful, and don’t impose your own beliefs on them.
Experience their music
Listen to local music
The best way to really immerse yourself in a destination’s culture is through its music. You’ll find that many countries have their own unique styles of music, and you can learn all about it by listening to some of the classics. For example, if you’re visiting Japan, check out some traditional Japanese instruments like the koto or shakuhachi flute!
If there are any local festivals happening while you’re there (or even just regular concerts), try going! The energy of live performances is always something special–and often more fun than just listening on your computer or phone speakers anyway! Of course if there aren’t any concerts available at this time then don’t worry; there are plenty of ways for travelers who want access now instead later: online radio stations often play popular songs from around world so go ahead try one out today!
Participate in their traditions
Participating in the traditions of your destination is another way to get an insider’s perspective on the culture. It’s also a great way to learn more about your destination and what makes it unique. Some examples of traditions include:
- Going out for drinks with friends on Friday night
- Having dinner with family every Sunday
- Rituals surrounding births and deaths (e.g., baby showers, funerals)
How do you know what traditions are available for you to participate in? Well, that depends! You could ask around or do some research online beforehand so that when the time comes, you know what options are available before making any decisions about how best to spend your time there. Once these options have been identified, simply pick whichever one(s) seem most interesting/appealing at the moment–and then go ahead with them!
Get to know the people of the country/destination you visit.
Get to know the people of the country/destination you visit.
As you’re walking down the street, look up and wave at someone who looks like they might be friendly. Then, when they wave back and smile at you, stop and talk to them! Ask them where they live and why they moved there (if applicable). Ask what their favorite place in town is; ask what kind of food they like best; ask if there’s anything special about their neighborhood or city that tourists might not know about yet.
Talk with locals about what tasks are typically done by hand rather than machine-powered tools–this will give insight into how much work goes into daily life for different people depending on where those lives take place around Earth’s surface…and perhaps even space stations orbiting our planet!
You can learn from and engage with the locals in a new way when you travel.
- You can learn from and engage with the locals in a new way when you travel.
- You can learn about the culture of the country you are visiting.
- You can learn about the history of the country you are visiting, which may also lead to an understanding of why people act or think in certain ways today (for example, if they’re still feeling oppressed).
- You can learn about yourself through interactions with these people–how do they differ from how I would react? What makes me uncomfortable? What makes them uncomfortable?
When you travel, you have the chance to learn more about the culture and people of a new country. You can do this by learning their language, taking tours that explore local markets or religious sites, eating their food (and maybe even cooking some!), participating in traditions like festivals or holiday celebrations–all these things can help you feel more connected with your destination than ever before!