Keen travelers value the chance to experience different cultures above all. Instead of heading for tourist areas, they aim for quieter, more authentic destinations. Such people spend their vacations trying to speak the language and merge with the locals. And their efforts often pay off with authentic experiences unlike any other. On their return, they can rest easy that they saw the heart of the place. Travel doesn’t get better than that.
But, it’s possible to cram even more culture into a trip by looking further afield. Merging cultures is an amazing way to make the most of any journey. The good news is, most destinations have more than one culture to get your teeth stuck into. Here are a few ways to ensure you experience them all.
Travel to different towns
Often when we go away, we book one hotel for the duration and stay relatively close. But, if cultural exploration is your aim, this may not be the best option. Instead, it might be worth booking a few nights in one destination and then moving on to the next.
This is a method usually employed by backpackers, and there’s good reason for it. Even within a country, there tend to be a myriad of cultures to experience. As an example, you won’t get an accurate representation of Canada unless you move around. In French speaking areas like Quebec, you’ll feel as though you’re in an entirely different country!
The same can be said for many other locations besides. Moving around India will reveal completely different customs from one town to the next. And, a trip to the UK wouldn’t be complete without a venture up north. Again, culture and language vary greatly, even on such a small island.
So, you need to move around in a major way to get the most from your trip. It may seem like added travel stress, but it’s a step worth taking. And, with proper planning, there’s no reason why it can’t work for you!
What about food?
Nothing is so useful for gaging culture as food. A country’s national dishes reveal a lot about its values, economic situation, and history. As such, any avid traveler will already know about the importance of tasting local dishes. You can’t visit India without eating curry. And, you can’t take a trip to Italy without a pizza or two. It would just be wrong!
But, fewer people think to look for ways to merge cultures with their food. For the most part, a country doesn’t only offer native food. The majority of countries also serve dishes from elsewhere in the world. While these may take you away from your destination itself, there’s a lot to be learned from a country’s take on foreign dishes.
In the UK, for example, Indian food is hugely popular. The English have even developed dishes like ‘chicken tikka masala,’. This dish has never been on Indian shores, so actually tells you a lot more about UK tastes!
The same can be said for many destinations. In Australia, Thai food, as served at Wok On Inn, is extremely popular. Due to immigration from Thailand, Thai food has become a huge part of Australian culture. Unexpected, perhaps, but it’s an aspect worth trying out during your stay.
Moving to different areas within the same country will also show you how varied culture can be. In a country like India, preferred dishes change from one town to the next. For example, northern areas use meat in their curries, while southern districts focus on vegetables. Again, this can show a huge deal about the economic situation of such areas.
Days out also offer the chance to merge cultures during your visit. Most countries have zoos, for example. The majority of which have a mixture of native wildlife and creatures from other nations. So, you’ll get your fix of the local culture, while also seeing a little more of the world.
The same can be said for trips to art galleries. The chances are that art displayed won’t only be by local artists. There may also be art from other cultures, or pieces from foreign visitors gone by. This is especially useful, as it allows you a chance to see the country through the eyes of a visitor different from yourself.
As you can see, there are many ways to merge cultures while you’re away. Why not give them a go? You may find travel takes on a whole new meaning this way!