Exploring and embracing new cultures and new places is always a joy, and as with any joys the road to fully becoming part of the experience requires a bit of knowledge, a bit of bravery, and a lot of exploration. Blending in to this new culture of yours can be tough, and many people fail to fully grasp the best ways to enjoy it, live it, and understand it. Becoming part of the culture is nearly impossible if you don’t know how to blend into it, so we’ve put together a list of 7 travelers tips for blending into a new culture, in the hopes that it helps you to find yourself in the countries you visit.
First and foremost is researching the places you’re going and the culture you’ll be experiencing. This isn’t just to understand what the best places to sink your teeth into the culture is, but also to ensure that you don’t offend anyone while you’re doing it. Some traditions are for locals only, some religions don’t permit foreigners, and most importantly, some sacred sites are only to be viewed from a distance. Research the country, research what is and isn’t acceptable, and make sure to have fun while being respectful.
Explore with a Local
Getting yourself a local guide is a great way to discover all the non-touristy places any given city has to offer. The tourist traps are always a little cheesy, and they are most often crowded and busy, but when you have a local show you around to the less well-known places you can find an entirely new tourist experience. Visit lesser-known art galleries, find beaches that are quieter, and get to know where the best restaurants and cafes are to be found. Latitude travel loans exist to help travellers to find their way to these exact experiences, so you know it’s worth a look with a local once you get there.
Embrace The Music
Music is a big part of any culture, regardless of where you are in the world. Every culture has its own instruments and its own use for them, and this makes the music created by these cultures unique and reflective of the culture they originate from. Immersing yourself in this music is the next step in becoming a part of the culture you’re exploring, and is therefore a key part in blending in.
Try Out The Language
The language of a country is the linguistic lifeblood of the country, and without an understanding of it you only have half the information you need to fully appreciate the culture of a place. Learning parts of the language is a great way to spend your days and a great way to meet locals. Ask a shopkeeper how you say the name of some items, ask a waiter how to pronounce the name of a dish, and ask a tour guide how the name of a place is pronounced. These will enrich your experience of the country and the people, too.
Taste the Cuisine
Food is one of the things that all cultures share, and the wide variety of dishes available in different countries is enough to plan whole trips around by themselves. Indulging yourself on the cuisine of your temporary home in your travels allows you to taste what generations of locals have built memories around, and what the decades of use of local ingredients does to refine a flavour palette.
Try on the Clothing
With all kinds of different styles of fashion and uses for clothing, many countries develop clothing uses differently, and use different methods of production to produce the clothing they wear. Many Westernized countries source their clothing from mass production factories in China, so their clothing could look entirely the same as your home country’s clothing, but throughout Europe and Africa, smaller communities will make their own clothing and support their own ideas of fashion trends and styles.
Finally, be sure to socialise. Making friends throughout the world is a solid way to build up a network of travel friends, establish yourself with places to stay the next time you’re in that city, and offer your new buddies a place to stay if they ever visit your hometown. Sharing the joy of travel makes it all the more enjoyable, so make some friends and keep in touch once you leave.
With these tips, you’re ready to blend into the cultures of the world, and you’ll find it easier than you ever imagined possible now that you have this knowledge on your side.