If you’re a traveller who wants to get off the touristy track and interact and behave like a local in a new city, you’re doing it right. Doing touristy things has its own joy; but to truly experience the essence of a place, one must allow oneself to be open to new customs and cultures. It starts with having the desire to learn and appreciate a new culture. And of course, with a bit of research and some strategic adjustments, you can easily find ways to blend in with the locals, and become a part of the continent you’re exploring. Here’s what you can do:Also Read - 6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Hopping on a Long Train Journey
Adjust your volume Also Read - Essentials Every Camper Must Have While Being Out In The Wild
This is a very important adjustment to make. Observe how the locals interact with each other in the place you’re visiting; and accordingly tune your volume. If you’re in a place where they’re loud and boisterous, take the liberty to go all out. But if they prefer to whisper and not be heard, talking at a high volume might get you sidelong glances from the locals. Also Read - How Travel Goes From Spontaneous to Luxurious As You Age
Dress the part and avoid tourist gear
To blend in, you need to look the part. That doesn’t mean that you have to wear their traditional dress. It just means that you follow the tempo. For example, if they dress modestly in a country, keep those shorts at bay. And if they’re too proud about how they look, bring out all your expensive clothes and accessories. Also, don’t carry your travel gear around all the time. People won’t warm up to you if your personality screams ‘tourist’. You don’t want to look like a backcountry hiker who accidentally wandered into the city.
Acquaint yourself with the custom
There’s no faster way to look like a clueless foreigner than by stumbling into a cultural faux pas you could have easily avoided by reading up on local customs. Getting a grip on the body language such as hand gestures and greetings before you land in a new country is a great way to ensure that you’re ready to adapt to your host culture.
Match the rhythm of the place you’re in
Moving at a different speed than the population you’re surrounded by can take away the pleasure of sampling local culture. Notice the speed at which life is conducted where you are; and speed up or slow down accordingly. It’s only when you’re walking, talking, and living at the speed of the culture that you can truly appreciate its unique rhythm.
Explore like a local would
It’s great to do touristy things – otherwise you’d have never explored the world-class museums or owned those gorgeous souvenirs that you picked up from different places. But it’s equally important to keep a couple of days aside to roam around like a local. You’ll get a chance to blend with the locals if you walk where they actually live and eat at cafes and restaurants frequented by them. Get all the information on what time the locals eat their meals and what dishes they prefer to order while eating out – so you can plan accordingly.