When in Germany… (photo credit)
If you’re a regular reader, you know that I love to write about my travels. Specifically, I have a passion for Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Throughout my travels, I’ve learnt that there are certain things we should all do. In other words, there are certain tricks to make sure you embrace and enjoy the country properly. So many tourists drop into a place, and only visit the spots in the guidebook. Well, it’s my opinion that seeing a country is about more than the guidebook. You’ve got to live like a local, and embrace the culture.
Eat the local delicacies
My favourite thing about traveling abroad is the food! Wherever you go, there are always hundreds of new flavours and smells to drink in. When I go abroad, I like to make a bucket list of local delicacies, and try to get through them all. When you’re abroad, avoid the major chain restaurants, and westernized establishments. You can eat chips anywhere, right? Instead, find a local food market, and try something unusual! Ask the waiters about the local delicacies, and try it for yourself.
Head off the beaten track
You’ll find all the most popular tourist streets in the guidebook without much trouble. And they’re usually worth hunting out. However, don’t be afraid to make your own way. Head off the beaten track, and see what you come across. Part of traveling is being spontaneous, so look for unique experiences. Of course, do make sure the area is safe, as there are often dangerous parts of town in foreign cities.
See a show
Wherever you go in the world, there are different cultures, and that seeps into art and music. I always make it a priority to see a local show while I’m abroad. Whether it’s a simple street dance or a theatre performance, I love to see how foreign cultures approach the arts. It’s easier than ever these days, as you can get concert tickets cheap if you look online. Look for any highlights during your time abroad, and soak in the culture.
This might seem like a strange suggestion, but it’s something I always take very seriously abroad. Every country and culture has its customs (and laws) about appearance and dress code. Even if you don’t agree with it, you should always respect the host country. For example, in churches around the world, you can’t show your shoulders or legs. In other nations, wearing jeans is considered inappropriate. Do your research before you go.
Embrace the culture
Essentially, what I’m saying is embrace the culture! Wherever you go, look to soak up as much of the country as you can. Eat their food, speak to their people, and live like a local. If you ask me, sticking to the tourist spots is a waste of time and money.
What do you think, readers? Tell me about your experiences abroad, and how you went off the beaten track? Do you like to try new things, or stick to the tourist destinations?