There is a lot of thought and energy that goes into planning the trip of a lifetime, and lots of the focus may just be on embracing a new culture. Why not? The cultural aspects of a holiday certainly add to the appeal of a vacation, after all. So, even if your sole purpose is relaxation, there are still plenty of ways you can infuse some cultural activities into the agenda to enrich the overall experience. It is practically impossible to fully enjoy and understand another country if you do not experience its culture. This is what makes another location different and unique.
Embrace the Cuisine
What’s more cultural than trying out the native food and drink choices? You don’t have to step foot in a museum or a gallery to feel this part of the country you’re visiting. Restaurants and cafes are everywhere, even if they are more casual in some places than others. You may just find a new dish you want to take home with you, and gain some insight into food in a different part of the world that will inspire you after you leave.
You might also want to seriously consider the street food scene. Many countries have a very interesting local scene that can so easily give you a huge insight into how locals spend their day-to-day lives. And you can meet countless interesting people who will become friends forever by simply eating something they do every day. It is actually one of the cheapest ways to see the locals in their “natural habitat”.
Try a Bit of the Language
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to learning the entirety of a language. However, do try to engage with key phrases and buzzwords that you might hear often enough. It is often the way that your experience will feel more authentic if you have spent time understanding the local utterances. It will also make your trip run a bit more smoothly because there won’t be as much of a prominent language barrier slowing things down.
There are numerous online apps you can use these days to translate text to and from basically all languages of the world. In some, you can write text and get an audio translation. In others, you only use text so you would use them while traveling. Regardless of what you use, knowing the language, even just a little bit, helps you interact with locals, which is what you want if culture is what you are interested in.
Go Where the Locals Go
As ever, locals will know what’s best in their home areas. Check out community events and take note of where the people love to go because these will be the most engaging experiences that move away from tourist traps and so on. Maybe there is a local casino where you could try your hand at the local version of poker. Make sure you figure out what is the strongest hand in poker first! Or you might discover a special green area for a stroll and a picnic you wouldn’t have found without input. The opportunities are endless!
As already mentioned, where locals eat should be considered. But, you can go way beyond that. For instance, you can visit the parks that are not on the list of really popular ones among tourists. Or you can see some of the lesser-known museums. Even going to other neighborhoods than those popular among tourists is a great experience.
Try Remote and Inner-City Together
There are a lot of cultures to be found in the big cities. This is where most of the big attractions are, and a lot of people too, which makes it a hotspot for activity, noise, and vibrance. That being said, there is a lot to be gained from treading away from the noise and lights and finding the beauty in the remote areas too. Even if you hop on public transport and travel for an hour, as long as you make sure the area is safe for people, you might just find the most cultural experience you’ve ever had. You could even camp out for a night with a little planning and prep work beforehand if you wanted to combine the two completely.
There are lots of benefits to seeking out culture. Not only does it make you a more worldly traveller, but it also engages your mind in new directions which in turn grows your awareness and abilities. Embracing culture can be effortless.