If you aren’t a traveler you may think that “experiencing culture” means you’re going to visit a few museums and perhaps run through an art gallery or see a show. Sure, that’s a part of it but not the real deal. Most expats that travel have the “cultural experience” as one of the top priorities on their list. It’s all about diving into a different way of life and learning and growing positively from the experience. Many people just don’t know “how” to make their cultural experience. And that’s okay because you only know what you know. If experiencing a new and mystical culture is your desire you are going to have to do some serious preparing before you hop on a plane and head to a new world. This is an experience of a lifetime that is what you make it.
Research Before You Go.
It makes perfect sense to research before you head off for a cultural experience that will change your life. When you go for a job interview, don’t you research the company and position thoroughly before you have your face2face? Of course, you do and the same should occur when you are traveling. And I’m not talking the surface stuff. That’s easy. Dig deep to learn about the history of the country you are visiting, the people, the particular aspects that drew you there, and anything current that may be happening. The more you know about where you are headed, the more “able” you are to get the most out of your cultural experience. Otherwise, you will be starting from left field when everyone else is ready to run the bases.
Pace Yourself – Don’t Rush.
Rather than run place to place try and spend a little more time at each so you can explore and take more in. Now this is a bit different if you are traveling with a tour group. Usually, the itinerary is set up so you see the most you can in a limited amount of time. And there’s not much you can do about that. But when you are traveling on your own you have control to slow down the pace and enjoy the moment instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off. The choice is yours.
Try Renting a House or Apartment
There’s nothing that screams tourist more than a large camera, except staying in a hostel or hotel. Hostels, of course, are an excellent way to meet fellow travelers, but they don’t always get you the best cultural experience. Many cultures are shy of tourists or foreigners. You may have to ease yourself in to establish a level of trust. Remember this is their turf and their rules. If you are pushy, bad things can happen. This isn’t meant to scare you but rather give you perspective. The less you look like an outsider, the better your cultural experience will be.