While many think that being a tourist means being pampered and comforted, more and more people are taking a more pragmatic approach to travel. These tourists have realised that going on holidays is not just about getting an escape. It is also about gaining new experiences, which they will treasure for a very long, long time.
Whether you are a long-term tourist or a foreign student looking to spend some time in a destination, adopting the local lifestyle will surely help. This is because it allows you to become part of the environment. You get to take part in the daily routine of the people. And it can save you a lot of money. It will take you to places where you can shop for the cheap. It can take you to spots where you’ll get free entertainment. If this is your goal, here are some of the things you may want to keep in mind:
Live in a hostel
This is among the most practical things that you can do when travelling. Many students in London find such accommodations not because they’re cheap, but because these housing types are grounded to reality. When you live in a hostel, you can get in touch with the owner or receptionist, as they offer insider tips on the city. They even organise events and activities that expose you to the culture of the city.
Take part in cooking classes
Food is one of the many things that define a culture. You can quickly get to know a culture by just tasting and enjoying their fares. This is why many experiential travel agencies arrange cooking tours and classes. From selecting ingredients to the method of cooking itself, you will find yourself immersed in the longstanding tradition of a country. Plus, you get to eat what you have just cooked.
Watch people in the park
People watching is an art form that will never go out of style. Just try this: during early mornings or twilight, sit in a park and watch people go by. Some may be working out while others may be playing with their children. Eavesdrop to the conversation even if you cannot understand the language. Doing this will give you an idea of how the pace or rhythm of a community goes. And somehow you become part of it.
Visit the local grocery
Another way of immersing yourself in the daily life of the locals is by visiting the local supermarket or convenience store. You will find and hear the locals conversing, and you will get to see the range of products that they are buying. The products that they buy are undoubtedly different from what you know back home, and they give you insight into their everyday needs.
Living like a local will not only allow you to save a lot of money and time. It will also open your eyes to the different cultures, and how some customs define and shape the way people live. It is an exciting experience, as you also get to take a peek into the foundations of a particular society. In more ways than one, it keeps you grounded. It reminds you that there is no definite way to live a life.
Bernard is a recreational lone traveler, looking for the next hiking adventure ideally in the winter/spring seasons. His favorite hiking locations are the Philippines, Hong Kong and the Kansai Area of Japan. He published his travels on his Youtube Channel “Wandelust” for the most important person in his life – his Mom.