When exploring the world, it’s highly likely you’ll be surrounded by an abundance of many different cultures depending on where you are. Don’t be hesitant to embrace them and let them shape your trip – here are just a few ways to get immersed in the culture whilst travelling.
Interact with the locals
To get one of the most authentic insights into the culture of your destination, simply have a chat with the locals. Many people you meet will be willing to talk, whether it be for a simple bit of guidance around the area or a casual conversation over a drink in a local bar.
Interacting with the locals is something many travellers shy away from, but it’s undeniably the most direct and effective way to understand and appreciate a country’s culture. They’ll be able to tell you all about their personal history as well as that of their home, and you’ll likely hear some incredible stories to talk about once you’ve arrived home.
Sample the cuisine
Another way of appreciating a country’s culture is by sampling the food on offer. Whether it be an extravagant sit-down meal or a simple snack from a street stall – the latter being the preferred option between travellers – you’ll get a literal taste for the culture by trying a dish.
Depending on where you are in the world, there are plenty of special dishes unique to that exact destination – in Vietnam, for example, you simply need to try a bowl of pho as recommended by the Secret Traveller. And trying the food opens up a variety of challenges to see just how much of a veteran you are – anyone for a delicious portion of fried tarantula?
No matter where you are, there’s always going to be at least one place of significant cultural importance. In India, for example, it’s the majestic Taj Mahal – but in Nepal, it’s the tallest point in the entire world, Mount Everest. Don’t hold back on exploring, as by visiting the areas of cultural significance wherever you are you’ll understand why they are so important and respected.
Look into guided tours, too – being shown the area by a local will teach you even more about your destination, and they’ll know all of the best places to show you. Who knows – you may end up discovering a hidden paradise.
Follow the norms
Of course, when it comes to culture there’s going to be some traditions you’ll be expected to embrace. Head to Thailand where culture is absolutely prominent and you’ll witness people standing still in public spaces twice a day to pay respect to the national anthem .
Not only that, but you’ll need to take your shoes off when entering certain buildings due to the “negative energy” your feet carry.
Brush up on your knowledge of cultural norms before you arrive at your destination. Although the majority of locals will be forgiving if you happen to slip up, it’s best to avoid any cultural faux pas when you can.
Learn about your destination’s history
It goes without saying that a majority of cultures around the world have been formed as a result of the history of the place in which they’re observed. With that being said, it’s probably worth taking some time to understand said history in order to fully appreciate the cultures of today.
Employing all of the above tips will ensure a successful, culture-filled trip where you’ll return with broadened horizons and plenty of experiences to tell your friends about. Dive in and embrace the culture of your destination to its full potential.