Don’t stick to the touristy parts of a city that you visit, you should go well beyond the usual hotspots for foreigners and merge with the locals. This is a daunting task for some people because you may not speak the language, you know you stand out by your appearance and you could be treated differently i.e. charged higher prices for products. But not everyone would like to take advantage of you, and there are plenty of ways you can savvy up on the local customs before you step foot on the plane. There are lots of reasons why you should go rogue and mingle with the locals on your travels, so let’s explore some of them.
You get the ‘real’ feel
Tourist hotspots are catered to foreign tastes. They are almost always going to be metropolitan, never really giving the true authentic feel of a nation and its culture. In fact, capital cities are almost never ever going to give you a ‘real’ feel of the country you paid your hard-earned cash to visit.
So we advise you that you go to small towns and villages instead. The amenities may not be as plentiful, but you are getting a true look at the people, the food they eat, the local lifestyles they lead and the community vibe.
The tourist hotspots have restaurants that make dishes with ingredients that you are familiar with. In Madrid, you will come across tapas that have California tomatoes, you’ll come across cocktails that use British gin, etc. to get the truest sense of the local cuisine, head off into the markets that are scattered around the edges of cities. Use a translation app on your phone to order local dishes and ask for the works. Tell the restaurant or local shop you are ordering from to not hold back and give you the works.
Perhaps the main reason why you should mingle with the locals is, to ask yourself whether you could live like them? For example, if you want to visit the US, don’t go to LA or New York, go to a place like Milwaukee or perhaps Denver. Ask yourself if you could see yourself going to work, buying groceries at the store and following the sports teams in these places? If you’re curious about your options and how your life could change, explore the us citizenship process. You can find out what documents you need, how long it will take for your application to be seen to and what you can do in the meantime.
Some tourist places just know they can pull the wool over your eyes and you won’t even know it. However, some local shops, markets, cafes and businesses, will not care if you are foreign or not. So you may actually find that a haircut in central Madrid is about 40 Euros, while in a local neighborhood around the outskirts, it’s no more than 20 Euros.
Go out and into the country you are visiting. Don’t be predictable and mingle with the locals away from the rest of the tourist groups. You’ll find the truth about the local culture you are among.