Time to break those die-hard habits, ditch those home comforts and make the most of your travels. Trips are about so much more than what you tick off your bucket list; every destination around the world has its own culture, its own language, and its own traditions. Whether you’re living abroad or only visiting for a few weeks, immersing yourself in the culture is an important part of the whole experience.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some easy tips to experience your trip abroad in a whole new way.
Travel with locals
If you’ve gone to visit a friend abroad, ask them to take you on a tour of the city or town, showing you all the hidden gems and local favourites that visitors are likely to miss. If you’re alone, steer clear of tourist hotspots and go off the beaten track by doing some more research and just wandering around with no particular destination in mind.
Learn the language
Whether this just means learning how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, locals will always appreciate it when you attempt to learn their language. If you learn more than the basics, this might also open up more opportunities to explore new places and visit places that only locals know about.
Explore the country’s landscapes
A country’s identity is shaped by so much more than its cities. Venturing out into the nature reaps serious rewards and creates a certain intimacy between you and the country.
Sign up to a reputable walking tour that will guide you through natural wonders, like dense jungle, alpine landscapes, along spectacular coastlines or even up a volcanic crater. By heading out of the cities, this also gives you an opportunity to discover the national sport, be that skiing, hiking or biking.
Eat local food
Identity is also influenced massively by food. Whether you’re in India, Italy or Iran, food is a global language that brings people together. Go ahead and try it, even if you think you won’t like it. Local food produced by the country itself is a thousand times better than any replicates around the world.
If you’re heading to Asia, indulge your senses with goodies from street vendors that are always made fresh to order. If you’re going to food capitals like Italy or Japan, try local delicacies that vary with each region. Most importantly, be open to new opportunities. You never know which new flavours you might fall in love with.