Travel Tip: Dig into the foreign culture

As I’ve touched upon in previous posts, I find it highly important to be open-minded and acquire insight into and understanding for foreign cultures in general and, especially, on travels. For my own sakes, I find it important to get involved in the foreign culture on my travels in order to, simply, acquire perspective on the foreign culture in question as well as my native culture.

Culture

Some ways in which I make sure to get involved in the foreign culture is to not only meet people from the culture, however, also by exploring its history and culture. As such, I quite enjoy the typical tourist attractions such visiting museums and attractions. However, also just walking around the different neighbourhoods trying various food, exploring street art and talking to people in the streets of these areas are great ways to acquire some insight into a foreign culture. If I spend a couple of days in a city, I always make sure to do a day tour or two to areas around the city. Often, when you travel, you end up visiting a big city, which can be somewhat of a tourist trap. Hence, it’s nice to undertake a day tour and visit rural areas far from characterised by a touristee feeling. Finally, another way I dig into a foreign culture is to go to comedy gigs and concerts. In this sense, the app Meet Up is great to get in touch with other foreigners visiting the culture as well as people living in the culture. Here, you can follow certain groups and attend meet-ups they arrange. You can actually also make an event yourself. In my experience, meeting up with like-minded strangers who want to socialise is such a great way to meet new friends as well.

There are so many great ways to dig into a foreign culture. Please share(!), how do you make sure to acquire insight into and understanding for a foreign culture on your travels?

xo P!

 

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14 thoughts on “Travel Tip: Dig into the foreign culture

  1. I like to venture beyond the tourist strips and get lost in the back alleys, I like to eat at small family owned cafes and talk to the owners. I enjoy seeing smaller shows and discovering music in venues that are off the beaten track. For me it’s all about getting to the heart of the culture.

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  2. I’ve had really good experiences with Couchsurfing – even if I just opt to meet up instead of staying at their home – and with AirBNB. It’s really helpful to get a local’s perspective and insight into the best places to eat! 🙂

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  3. Easiest was I’d suggest is talking to the taxi drivers. After that I’d say be brave and don’t be afraid… what you found normal back home is strange to others who hail from another parts of the planet.

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  4. I tend to not follow too much what is said in the tourist brochures. I walk “a lot” and am trying to create my own path, not knowing all the time where I’ll end up. I like to go where others haven’t been. So when people say “Michel, you absolutely have to go to Rome”, I’ll probably go to Firenze or something. 🙂 I don’t follow the hype, I create it!

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  5. Definitely find the opportunity to talk to the locals. Once we made a stop at Cavaillon, France. I was looking for a restroom, ended up in the mayers office building, they were having a party there, as I stepped in they waved at me to join them, so I stayed and chatted with people and they invited me to join the party. It was a fun experience and I still remember it.

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  6. The easiest way I find that I can understand a culture is through their food. As silly as it sounds, you can really get to know the peoples of a region by the food they serve. Not only is it enlightening, but also delicious!

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  7. Personally, I ask the receptionists at my hostels about the local places they like to go to/eat at. There admittedly is some overlap with the touristy places, but if you see locals there, you know it’s for everybody.

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  8. Yes, part of travel is to experience the culture. We love to visit history museums, get off the tourist streets and into the back streets and alleys. Eat where you see no tourists and stay in local hotels and B&B away from the tourist hotels. And remember you are in their home so DON’T push your culture on them and be polite. We always try to learn at least a few words and phrases of the places we visit and greet them in their language. And remember enjoy the moment.

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