Now, let’s get a couple of things clear — there’s no hierarchy when it comes to travelling. If people are getting out there and enjoying all that the world has to offer, then that’s fine. But to some people, the standard “heading overseas for a few days in the sun” type of holiday isn’t enough. They want more — they want to be true travellers, true explorers. They want to see and understand more of the world. But how do you go about this? We take a look at four ways below.
Speak the Language
One of the best things about being from the UK is that you can travel to all corners of the globe, and get by using your mother tongue. But the key phrase here is “get by” — yes, you’ll be able to order food and get directions, but will you be able to really uncover the truth of the region? It’s unlikely. For that, you need to be able to speak to the people on the streets, and for that, you must speak their language. They say if you visit South America and you can speak Spanish, you’ll experience it twice: once in the typical European visitor fashion, and once from the inside. If you don’t know which to learn, go with Spanish and French — they’re spoken all over.
All of the world’s most famous destinations have a handful of attractions that every visitor positively must see. But is this really the case? Not always. If you have no interest in art, then an afternoon at a “must see” art gallery will likely be wasted on you. Instead, build your own plan. It’ll lead to a more satisfying experience when compared to just following the suggestions of others.
Know the Rules
Most travellers only have good intentions. They want to be respectful, they want to learn about other cultures, they want to make sure that they’re not detracting from the experience of the people who live in the destination. However, sometimes, good intentions aren’t enough. The world is too varied — what passes as polite in one country could pass as rude in another. To stand out from the crowd of travellers, read up on the cultural rules in the place that you’re visiting; a good place to start is this guide to global etiquette at Travelbag. You don’t want to accidentally insult a person in their own country!
Out of the Comfort Zone
Some people say they want to experience different cultures, but in reality, they just want warm weather. If you’re going to travel, then be ready to leave your comfort zone, at least a little bit. A person who gets involved with local celebrations, dances, eats the food, and all-around soaks up the culture will be a treasured visitor indeed.
Pushing yourself should also extend to conversing with the locals. You’ll learn a great deal from them, much more than you could ever get from a guidebook — and especially if you can speak the language.