How to Immerse Yourself in a New Culture
We all love traveling and discovering new places; we go to far flung places to see the most beautiful scenery and to try to understand a bit more about other cultures. However, to truly appreciate a new culture, you should use all your five senses, not just your eyesight.
Think about your last three trips and ask yourself how many things you actually did as opposed to things you saw. I mean, I know sometimes we don’t have a lot of time to delve into some sort of exciting activity, but you should make the effort.
How come when you look back at your past adventures, it’s either the funny and tragic stories or the crazy things you did that you remember the most?
Because they matter!
What do you think would have a greater impact in your life, a picture next to the Mona Lisa or a cheese and wine night with a bunch of French people? Unless you’re really obsessed with art, I’m sure you’ll be craving that amazing brie with the Pinot Noir from Bourgogne (Burgundy) for the rest of your life.
So, the main message here is: The best experiences you’re going to have while traveling will involve doing, not just seeing things. The moment you fill your trips with activities, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your adventures.
Let me give you a few ideas!
1. Take a Cooking Course
If you’re visiting a new country and have the chance to learn how to cook their meals, especially traditional ones, please don’t skip the opportunity! One of the great aspects of a culture is its cuisine and being able to experience it firsthand is bliss.
Apart from eating the real, homemade food, you’ll be learning a new skill. You could go back home with a handful of souvenirs, or you could throw together a homecooked Thai dinner and impress all your friends!
2. Take a Language Course
If English is your first language you might consider yourself lucky, to a certain extent — unless you’re going really deep off the beaten track, someone will always speak English. However, by not learning a new language, you don’t know how much you’re missing out.
By speaking another language, you pretty much train your brain to look at the world in a different way. The more slang, idioms and expressions you learn, the more you’ll actually have a much deeper insight into another culture.
And of course, nothing makes a local happier than having a foreigner attempting to speak their language!