5 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

Traveling Brown Girl Blog Carnival

Traveling Brown Girl Blog Carnival

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.

Fruit and Vegetable Stand

Fruit and Vegetable Stand

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.

From my flight window

From my flight window

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?

10 Responses to 5 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

  • Tawanna:

    When I went to the Cayman Islands with my family, we stayed at a villa where we could cook our own food so I decided to venture into the local supermarket. I felt like a local then, truly immersed in the lifestyle and not so much like a tourist ordering everyday from the resort’s costly restaurant.

  • Eva, thank you for this article. When I travel I do my best to totally immerse myself in the place I am visiting. These ideas are great to add to my list of how to best experience a destination. On some of my travels I have researched and found local cooking schools and enrolled in a cooking class. This has always been a great experience. I love visiting local markets and seeing where the locals shop. The cooking class has always led to an invite into a person’s home for a home-cooked meal. To me, there is nothing better. Thanks again.

  • As a child we visited the Bahamas. One morning my sister and I wandered into the local school, and met a bunch of kids. Because this was on a remote island there were about 20 kids in the one room school house. I still remember jumping rope with those kids. Go out and explore beyond your comfort zone!

  • I love your idea about considering giving to the local community. Such a good way to connect with people, which we all know is the way to soak up culture, but find difficult to do. Thanks for sharing the tip.

    • jordantravelenterprise:

      Your welcome. It can be challenging or difficult to step outside of our comfort zone but it is often so worth it when we do. This continues to be my experience in the past year.

  • [...] 5 Ways To Immerse Yourself in Local Culture Twitter: @MissJoriQT   Blog: Travel with Eva Post: 5 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Local Culture Twitter:@TravelwithEva   Blog: Women of Color Living Abroad Post:  Five Priceless Possessions [...]

  • Great ideas! I like to taste the local dishes to immerse myself in the culture. Thanks for the extra tips, though. By immersing yourself in the culture, you get to experience a country rather than just visiting it!

  • Church abroad is always a very interesting experience. And definitely try to make give back a part of every trip no matter how big or small.

Welcome, leave a comment. Feel free to contribute!

Visit us!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow me on Twitter