5 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Local Culture
Have you ever wondered about the culture of the people and places you’ve visited?
My friend wanted to do a girlfriend getaway to celebrate her 40th birthday.
The highlights she still talks about after the trip are the times spent outside of the 5 star resort.
” We had a private local driver who shared things about the people and the country. We visited a former
slave plantation and even a local supermarket.
He explained the local spices which I was able to purchase at a great price. The memories of the trip
remain when the aromas from the curry and seasoning fill my kitchen.”
Here are my top 5 ways to immerse yourself in local culture:
1. Take your palate on a cultural journey when you travel. Move outside your hotel, resort or vacation villa. To capture the local experience get a
few recommendations from your resort staff. Find out where the local folks eat. Go beyond the concierge but also keep safety in mind.
2. Seek out available resources. Check in with area tourist boards. They are a wealth of knowledge and information. On a previous trip to the Bahamas, I was able to arrange connecting a local business professional with my client through The People to People program. This was invaluable in that it allows one on one interaction with someone from a different culture.
3. Consider being a blessing when you travel by giving back. Connect with a local school, children’s home, church or hospital. Give a little
of your time, talent or money. This can be as simple as bringing along some pencils, crayons or books to donate to an orphanage. Say “hello”
to the children who are often as curious about you , as you are about them.
4. Do you attend church regularly at home? Why not take the opportunity to experience another culture’s worship service by attending church.
People are often friendly and welcoming, who knows they may even invite you home for a meal and a lasting friendship may develop.
5. Research the local; customs and faux pas so that in an effort to be friendly you do not offend or are not misunderstood.
Simply by moving outside your comfort zone with a smile and reaching out, you open yourself to an extraordinary experience.
In what ways have you immersed yourself in the culture of the places you have visited?