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Traveling abroad has its fair share of challenges, especially with new languages, laws, foods, and even currency. It’s difficult to feel at home in a place so different from home. Taking those touristy pictures in front of the one monument you recognize is a travel essential. There are tons of ways though to live more authentically and explore new countries like you’re a local. Here’s a little advice to help you find those gems off the beaten path when you’re traveling so that you can How to Live Like A Local While Traveling Abroad!
How to Live Like A Local While Traveling Abroad
Do Your Research
Before my first time traveling, someone told me to research before the trio. I was confused. If I’m trying to live like a local, shouldn’t I be taking on spontaneous adventures as they come? Of course, locals don’t have to research their town; they live there! You, on the other hand, have catch-up work to do!
While researching your destination may not feel like the spontaneous local experience you hoped for, it can help you find those lesser-known gems you wouldn’t otherwise stumble upon. Read local food blogs before traveling to Florence, Italy. Check out a Myanmar guide before bounding into the country without a clue where to start.
With a little research, you can gain access to insider information. You’ll find differing perspectives on the best foods, museums, and music a country has to offer.
Make Friends Everywhere
Every minuscule interaction is a chance to learn more about your destination. This is why I put on my extrovert hat before I head on a new vacation. Especially when traveling with friends or loved ones, it can be tempting to close yourself off and just enjoy the people you came with. Conversing with new friends can lead you to fun and unexpected new adventures.
- The bartender
- The cab driver
- The employees of the hotel you’re stating at
- The people you meet standing in line
Ask about their favorite eateries or places to avoid. This is how you start to immerse yourself in a new place and live like a local. Add new friends on social media! Who knows, the people you meet might find themselves in your neck of the woods next.
Learn the Language
To make friends, it goes without saying that you should know their language. While many people abroad can converse multilingually, try to learn a bit of the primary language before visiting another country. This way, you can switch back and forth and have a more enriching, invested conversation than you would otherwise.
Knowing the language also makes it easier to get around and find places. Public transportation can be a nightmare if you have to google translate every word you read before knowing where to go.
Don’t Underestimate the Morning Jog
Going for an early morning jog around your area can help you to tune in to the intricacies of the town you’re visiting. It allows you to see the city before tourists and locals flood the streets. It also helps you to get a sense of where you are and scope out cool places like restaurants and museums to visit later.
Getting up and starting your day by exploring new parts of the town on foot helps you to feel like you belong there. Driving quickly past hundreds of buildings can make it hard to zone in on new experiences. Jogging or walking through town means you have time to read signs, look in shop windows, and read fliers posted about upcoming events.
The Bottom Line
Wherever you choose to travel, follow these tips to immerse yourself and live like a local. Enrich your experience, learn new things, and explore more deeply by taking some time to invest in the experience wholeheartedly.