We all know about the importance of travel and how it helps us become well-rounded human beings. But can you really have a culturally enriching experience just by visiting monuments and museums?
We strongly feel that a country’s soul is carried in the heart of its people, and the only way to discover this is to meet and interact with locals. This is of course easier said than done, but after reading our top tips you will be well on your way to making the most of your trips abroad.
Not only can this help you meet a country’s local community, but you’ll find people who have the same interests as you. With over 9000 groups to choose from around the world there are so many different activities you can experience at the click of a mouse.
Tours with Natives
Locals will always want to show you the very best of their country, so it’s a great idea to let them show you around! Plus they are more likely to know off-the-beaten-track attractions that you won’t find in your guidebook. What’s more, lots of companies like Discover Walks offer tours for free! Their “Walk Paris With a Native” is a great way to see a country first-hand, through the eyes of the people that live there.
Live with a local
You couldn’t get to know a native more intimately than if you lived with one. As you do not normally get invited to someone’s house after a first meeting it is very rare that you will ever see the inside of a local’s home while travelling. However AirBnB often have the option to stay in accommodation where the host is still living there.
Learn the language
As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” The best way to connect to a local is to try and speak their language. Even just a few sentences. There are lots of great apps and guidebooks out there to pick up some local lingo, or you could just try learning through immersion!
Eat the native cuisine with local people
The most fun way to experience a culture is definitely to taste it! No one makes a national dish better than locals. Visiting the sites that tell the tales of history, roaming the streets and eating in eateries and restaurants along the way can tell a lot about a city, but this merely grazes the edges of the local community. What better way to immerse yourself than to bond over a hearty home-cooked meal, coupled with the taste of home?