Embracing other cultures as you travel is one of the best things about visiting different countries. If you’re not prepared to do that, why travel at all? To enjoy the country you’re visiting to the full you at least need to try to understand how they live and what they do. These tips will help you to embrace other cultures as you travel:
Do your research so You Know What to Expect
Don’t just rock up to another country and think you won’t be surprised. You might be in for a culture shock, as many places will be so different to what you’re used to. Probably even more so than you could ever imagine! Do your research before hand so you know what to expect. You won’t be able to find out everything – it’s probably best if you don’t anyway so that you’re at least a little surprised. It just doesn’t hurt to be prepared. When you’re travelling somewhere like Africa it’s easy to find a link or two to help you get an idea.
Know What is Considered Disrespectful
Every single country has something that they consider to be disrespectful. In your own country, it might even be something that is considered respectful. Be aware that the things you think of as polite may not be polite. For instance, finishing all of your food is considered polite in some places, or rude in others. How does that work? Some think that you loved their food so much you ate it all, others think you’re saying they weren’t generous enough with their portions. There are more serious things to be aware of than this though, so make sure you do some thorough research.
Stay Open Minded
Stay as open minded as you can. Things might not make sense to you, and that’s fine. Just embrace them, learn, and enjoy. You could even ask questions. Why not get involved? Some countries offer tours and packages that allow you to become a part of ceremonies and things that you would never get to see as an outsider.
Try Learning Words and Phrases
Learning a few words and phrases shows that you tried. Many countries will really appreciate this and you might even get special treatment.
Make Friends and Ask Questions
The best thing you can do when you’re travelling anywhere at all is make friends. This is why learning a few phrases is important. However, smiling and just giving off a nice aura can be just as good. Ask questions if you can, but remember to be polite and respectful. Be understanding. Do be careful of the people you make friends with though. Although you should make friends, you still need to be careful and sensible. Don’t wander off on your own with anybody you don’t know. If you’re going somewhere with someone new, tell somebody or leave a note in your hotel room.
Embracing other cultures while you travel guarantees you’ll have a wonderful time! Make the most of each experience and live it to the full.