It is not difficult to make the mistake of visiting another country without leaving one’s world. While visiting a foreign country is always a nice thing to do, the best travel experiences take place when one opens up and engages with the culture of the foreign land. Easier said than done, right? Here are some pointers to consider if one is to enjoy a new culture.
Do Enough Research
The best way for someone to prepare themselves for new customs and culture is doing some research. Before leaving for the new destination, take the time to research appropriate sites or the local bookstore to get a guidebook for the tour. These books are excellent for providing information about the overview of a country one is about to visit. The books also cover various topics from customs and culture to accommodation and places or things to avoid.
Keep an Open Mind
When traveling to a different section of the world, always remember to keep an open mind. It is imperative to understand that things work differently in various places. How things are done in Croatia or German is quite different from how things are done in the United States. For instance, in Europe, dinners are often started at 9 pm, and people pay to visit the public restrooms. In China, people usually squat over a hole when using the restroom, so expect to do the same when visiting such a place. Therefore, when traveling, always remember that the cultures of different areas often differ.
Walk and Wander
When touring in a new city, motorized transportation does not necessarily allow one to experience the area in the best way possible. For instance, it would be practically impossible to know what goes on in the city center and what products are available in the store if one cannot walk around.
Think about the subway in New York. Getting out of a subway in various sections of the boroughs offers different styles of architecture, different cuisine, and crowds wandering the streets. In the same way, most of the cities in the world are pedestrian-friendly. By strolling in the streets of the city, an individual can discover amazing ruins, parks, and markets, and meet amazing and friendly people.
Finding a suitable hotel can make a whole difference between having a wonderful and an awful experience. It is important to note that in modern cities such as Doha, for instance, a majority of the hotels are world class. Choosing to stay in Marriott Marquis Doha will add to the amazing cultural experiences one would expect when visiting the Middle East. The good thing about finding the right hotel is that one has the opportunity to have a taste of the local cuisine, a meal that would be impossible to find at the hotels in their homeland.
Experiencing a new culture is not about visiting the tallest building or the museums in town. It is about creating and finding moments that would make one feel completely at ease as if they are at home. It involves human interactions which are likely to occur during eating and drinking. It is important to embrace these moments to have a feel of the culture of a foreign country.