Now it’s time to get over those travel guide books. A world exists outside of those; only you need to have the eyes and inclination to see it. When anybody travels, the least they do is to taste the local food. Moreover, they will go around the town, bragging about their cultural exposure after that. But that is not what you project it to be.
Cultural tours involve a lot more. If you are not a part of those well-designed cultural tours that show every facet of the locals, then hang on. You can do it as quickly as anyone. Cultural heritage includes the legacy and traditions that are passed on from ancestors. The term consists of various facets of life, like food, arts, clothes, livelihood, medicines, and spirituality, to name a few. You can now embark on a culturally-rich journey while supporting local traditions and businesses.
Find out great ways to connect with local culture while you travel.
Practice Slow Travel
Travel is becoming more and more accessible today, with travel loans coming in. However, extensive traveling is destroying the environment. Thus, slow travel is the answer to everybody’s woes. You should give the transport a miss, and travel on foot if possible. If you have heard about walking tours, we are talking about them here. It also means spending less on fuel. Slow travel is more inclined towards sustaining the ecosystem while you travel. Zooming from one place to another indeed adds to the fun, but you don’t feel anything. Spend some time with the locals and emulate their lives. That will be an enriching experience for you since you can cut off burnout and relax simultaneously.
Travel on Water
Traveling on the water is the best to get more from your vacations. When you travel by boat or on a small cruise, you get to feel the seas and oceans. It gives you a feeling of oneness with water all around you. The vast expanse of water makes you feel expansive as well.
Moreover, the boat or cruise stops at designated places. So if you sleep in one city, you wake up in another one, which is undoubtedly fascinating. This overnight stay on a boat is a boon for travelers who love culture. Most cruise yachts and ships give you some time to explore the place for a few hours to a day.
You can hop into any of the local villages by the coast. There will be fishing villages along most coastlines. Live with them for a while, and savor their lifestyle. Watch them go about their daily tasks and also attend to house tasks. You can also speak to them to know more about their lives and challenges. No book will be able to give you this information.
Watch Films or Read Books
This tip will come in handy when you go on cultural trips. Watch a movie based on the place you will be traveling to. It better still, buy some books. Now, here is a word of caution. You do not need to study a travel book, for that matter. You can read a story based on the country or state you are visiting. The country’s religion, lifestyle, food, and arts assume a lot of importance in such instances.
All travelers should do this, no matter what sort of travel it is. This helps to maintain cultural sensitivity and also helps one respect the place. You should also make it a point to read up the traditions of the place or the communities that reside there.
Visit Cultural Heritage Sites
You should look up the UNESCO World Heritage Sites before heading to any location. These are the best examples of the tradition and heritage of the place. Moreover, it is branded by experts. So you can never go wrong with the information you collect from there. You might come across various things on such trips, from stumbling upon fossils to entering dark dungeons.
The more adventurous you are, the better it is for you. UNESCO makes various demarcations at such sites. Some are historical, some scientific, while others are cultural. You will also learn about the preservation of such sites for future generations. Additionally, you don’t need to travel across borders all the time to discover such sites. Explore your home country, and you may just hit upon one such place.
Buy From Locals
This is another way to connect with the country or destination as a whole. When you buy gifts and souvenirs from locals, you give them a chance at life. Their future generations educate themselves and carry on the legacy. It is always better to buy from a family-owned business than a mall. Buying local means you are valuing their skills, and that motivates them.
Therefore, don’t shy away from exploring the local culture next time you go on a tour. It will be a nurturing and enriching experience for the mind and soul. Connect with locals the way you would love to be connected to.