When you travel, the best and most genuine way is aiming for cultural immersion. Cultural immersion is when you assimilate into the local culture by integrating into the community and connecting with the local people. It’s important to possess an understanding of how people live in the country or place you’re visiting. While this task may be difficult when you aren’t staying in a single location for a significant period of time, it’s still important that you attempt to do so in order to truly benefit from your travels.
The importance of immersion
Through cultural immersion, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of a truly unique place and its people. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel and experience diverse cultures, so it’s important that you make the most of it. By connecting with people from other cultures, you’re telling those people you value their culture and who they are. You aren’t just taking advantage of their home for some exciting traveling experience; you really want to understand where and how they live. You’re helping to preserve the culture that may be negatively impacted by the tourism industry in the area. You’ll also learn new things, such as art, history, or traditions, which you’ll be able to bring home with you.
When you immerse yourself in a culture while traveling, you’re also working toward becoming a better global citizen, which is now more important than ever since people can be easily connected through technology. People all over the world interact with each other and it’s vital that you respect and preserve one another’s cultures in an effort to be a truly authentic global citizen.
How to immerse yourself
There are plenty of options for how to properly immerse yourself in a culture while traveling. A simple way is talking to the people around you. If you’re spending time in a park or other public area, make conversation with people around you and be friendly. You’ll have engaging conversations and likely get tips from locals about the best things to do wherever you are. Another option is to look up different websites that offer examples of sites and restaurants to see and eat at that aren’t the typical tourist destinations. Actually take time to learn the local language and memorize basic phrases to help you while traveling. If you’re too tired from a flight or drive to go out and explore, you can even simply turn on television (if it’s available) and watch some of the local channels. If they’re in another language, you might not understand them, but you’ll likely see something quite different from what you’re used to at home.