Do you think traveling enhances your understanding of traditional culture? Yes, it does! When you travel, you get to meet new people and immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of that place. There are 195 countries around the world and every country has its own traditions & cultural value. So, when you travel to these countries you get out of your comfort zone & get to learn about different traditional cultures across different geographical locations. Traveling does improve your understanding of history & how once the world was connected — which further lets you understand the dynamics of the world & immerse in the traditional cultures of the place. And, immersing in the traditional culture is not just about getting to learn but statistics have established that — it enhances your mental, physical & emotional wellbeing.
Traveling & immersing in the traditional cultures of different places will have a positive impact on your personal growth — it takes you to abandon your comfort zone. Traveling & immersing yourself in different traditional cultures brings plenty of challenges in front of you enabling you to think out-of-your social locations. The more cultural shocks you’re faced with, the more are chances of learning. There are several ways to immerse yourself in the traditional cultures of the place where you are traveling to.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can delve into the traditions & culture of the place you are traveling to on your next vacation. Let’s read on to find:
It is way easy to connect with the locals when you communicate with them in their own language. While learning a language is not that easy as saying it, but you can always learn a few important words before venturing on your vacation. You can learn a few simple phrases like — “hello”, “thank you”, “please”, “do you speak English” & “nice to meet you”. While English is a global language and is spoken around the world, you should always assume that some locals would not communicate in English. So, it is always good to know how to say certain things in the local language. Not only this will make the communication easy but locals will be more welcoming & appreciate the efforts you’ve put into learning the language.
When you indulge in eating some of the local foods of the place — you get an idea of the ingredients used, where it is coming from & how the people are bringing these ingredients. A little more insight into the generation-old recipes will take you through a tour of the cultural differences & similarities with other places you’ve been through on all other vacations. Food is not just about eating, it’s also about experiencing the culture, the people, the trade & a lot more. And, taking a short cooking class would be a way better way of indulging in the traditional cultures of the place. So, for a few days on your vacation, put your dieting regimen on the shelf & try some local dishes — get a better idea of the traditional cultures.
One of the best ways to better understand the traditional cultures of a country or place — is putting in some extra efforts in researching your destinations before venturing on the vacation. You would better be able to integrate yourself into the traditional cultures of the place if you would know small things & how the native spend their daily lives. This research is not about bigger things — it is about knowing the little things like what is their mealtime, whether you should leave tips in restaurants or not, or maybe about their festivals. In fact, in some places, people consider it disrespectful when you’re not aware of trivial things like taking off your shoes before entering the home. So, before you are physically there prepare yourself mentally by knowing the trivial cultures of the place.
If you want to immerse yourself into the traditional cultures of the destination, you must prefer local transportation for everyday exploration than using pre-booked transportation. Check out what locals are using— be it bicycles, buses, metro, rickshaw — make sure you are using one of them. You’ve got an option to seek help from a local while hopping off the bus if you’re feeling like you are lost in a foreign land. In most places, locals are proud of guiding you through their city explorations. But you should also be a little cautious when going around a foreign land.
Don’t be a social media-obsessed traveler — traveling is way profound than what is believed today. So, when ticking off your bucket list for the day, slow down — get into the nuances, read, ask & dive into the historical, geographical & intellectual aspects of the spot. Slowing down would get into the rich cultural heritage & the reason why millions of people are flocking to the place every year. In addition, it’ll keep you away from travel burnouts and make you feel like real vacations. Slow travel will help you connect with the cultural traditions of the destination & to be a part of it.
Before you get on to your vacation, prepare yourself for the trip by watching local movies, and reading books. Documentaries are one of the best options! And, if you are short of time to read an entire book, you can always look for information on the internet about the country. You should read about the history, geography, demographics, religion & about the cultural aspects of the country. This is what every traveler should be doing before starting off with the vacation whether it’s a cultural or adventurous tour. This will help you avoid hurting the cultural sensitivity of the locals. Always read the non-Eurocentric perspectives and decolonized histories of the destination.
One of the best ways to immerse into the local cultures is supporting the local businesses & getting a deeper insight into how they work. You might find your accommodation at a local homestay and find out more about what they do in their daily lives. Shop for groceries at a local store, go to the local market, buy from the street vendors & take a local guide's help for deeper insight into the traditional cultures of the place. And, if you’re a creative person, a better way to understand the local cultures would be taking up some local workshops or classes — maybe dance classes or art workshops or cooking classes. This is the most fun way to get a deeper insight into the local traditional cultures of the place.
Don’t forget to incorporate those museums into your itinerary! There is no better way to get a deeper insight into the history, culture, and religious beliefs of the destination than to visit one of those local museum exhibitions. The interactive learning, visual arts, and audio guides would help you better acquaint yourself with the cultural heritage of the destination. Make sure you are going to all types of museums — natural science, classic art, modern arts, resistance movements & general history.