How to immerse yourself fully in the culture when you travel
The key to the best travel experiences is embracing the culture of your destination.
When you travel, it is easy to stay aloof in your own bubble while you have a great time. But, what's the fun in that? To really say you have visited a place, you should have immersed yourself fully in the culture and way of life or at least have an idea of it, especially if you are the Eat Pray Love type of traveller. Find out what type of traveller you are.
However, if this interests you, you can try this guide to cultural immersion.
1. Visit local spots
The first thing you should keep your eyes and ears peeled for is the hottest spots for locals, be it pubs, clubs or restaurants. This helps you interact with locals and get stories you wouldn't get otherwise. You'd have a better chance engaging locals in conversation and getting recommendations on places and things no one knows about.
2. Eat the food
Trying the local cuisines helps you grasp the patterns of food and dining in the destination you are visiting. This grants you a deeper understanding of their cultural patterns also. When CNN's in 2017, he sampled jollof rice, peppersoup, efo, pounded yam and egusi. During an interview with Jake Tapper, he stated that out of all the culinary experiences in Nigeria, Peppersoup was his favourite.
3. Learn the language
Locals are more relaxed around tourists who make an effort to speak at least one word of their language. Language barriers can put a strain on your enjoying your vacation, especially in a destination that doesn't speak your language, and knowing some of the basics can bring you a step closer to the locals.
4. Use public transport
Public transport allows you to have real interactions in uncontrolled environment. It's either you make an effort to blend in or stand out and observe the people.
5. Learn the history and culture
Visiting cultural and historical sites help you get a deeper understanding of the people and where they are coming from.
6. Listen to the local music
Going to spots where the local music is being played can help you do a number of things earlier mentioned. It can bring you authentic conversations, bring you closer to the local cuisines and allow you to learn the language more. Live music is even better.
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