Whether you’re moving to a new country for work or travelling to different cities for fun, it’s important to make the most of our adventures. After all, there are so many things to do, see and experience in this world.
Here are 5 tips on how to soak up the culture in a new place.
Do your homework
It’s always a good idea to read up a little bit about the place you’re going to before you actually go. That way, you’ll get a good feel for what you might like to do. Research everything from historic monuments you’d like to see to restaurants you’d like to dine in and devise a plan from there.
You may also want to look up common phrases and expressions that might help you when you’re out and about. Are there any local customs you should be aware of? Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible and you’re bound to set yourself up for an unforgettable adventure.
Leave room for the unexpected
Now, while having plans is great, you do need to allow yourself a little flexibility. That way, you’re open to all kinds of unexpected and exciting things happening. Maybe you’ll meet a group of new friends who’ll introduce you to new experiences or you’d like to revisit certain areas you loved seeing the first time around.
At the same time, you’ll also need to make space in your calendar for some downtime—particularly if you’re working. Make sure you keep some weekends free so that you can relax, catch a breath and soak up the culture in more spontaneous ways—like walking around the streets at your own pace, for example.
Live like a local
As we all know, the locals do it best. They eat in the right places, travel in the right ways and usually know their city inside and out. For this reason, they’re the best people to speak to about making the most of your location.
If you’re working, you may already be familiar with a few locals to speak to. But if you’re not, don’t be shy to chat to them when you’re out and about—even if that means the barista serving your morning coffee. Ask for their recommendations. It could lead you to discover all sorts of hidden gems.
Spend some time solo
If you’re travelling with friends or you’ve quickly made a new friendship group, it can be very tempting to do everything with them. But actually, there are so many benefits to spending some time alone.
The idea of it might seem daunting at first but hanging out solo means you’re much more likely to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. You’ll also learn and pick up so many new things simply by the act of observing. Sit yourself down in a picturesque courtyard bar with a drink and simply watch the world go by.
One of the most rewarding things about travelling is that it opens up a whole new world. Quite literally. Whether that’s new foods you’ve never tried before or languages you’ve never spoken, being in a new place can teach you so many things about so many things.
So, open yourself up to it. Step out of your comfort zone. Try foods you’ve never eaten before. Attempt to learn the language. Be respectful. Soak up the culture. Ask questions. Listen. Learn. And most importantly, enjoy yourself.