The world we live in is incredibly diverse. All around the planet, different cultures continue to shape language, art, cuisine, and education. While you’re a member of one culture, it’s rewarding to experience another culture close at hand. Even if you only travel a few states away, you’ll still experience a different way of doing things. Sometimes you can find variety in the same state — it’s certainly true that city life has a different culture than country life.
The list below will show you ten different ways to do just that. Some are quick and easy, while others require planning and a vacation fund. With a little thought and planning, however, you can experience more than one of these adventures in this year alone!
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of nature is to camp. You might dislike bugs and the inability to shower, but if you can brave a night or two, then camping could be truly refreshing. You could camp nearby and immerse yourself in the local terrain, or you could try camping in Port Macquarie, Australia, and see a brand new continent, up close. Not only will camping bring you closer to the world at large, but some believe that it can even bring you closer to your friends and family by helping you bond in a new environment.
Build a Vacation House
If you find a culture you just can’t get enough of, you might want to visit it regularly. You could take a yearly trip to Japan, or visit France whenever possible. The best way to enjoy a vacation destination, however, is with a vacation house. If you want to visit Australia regularly, or even retire there someday, you could contact home builders in Brisbane. Your vacation home would be a source of joy for your entire family, and you could even rent it out to other vacationers when you weren’t using it.
Go to a Festival
You don’t have to go far to experience other cultures. Food, entertainment, and jewelry vary widely from culture to culture, and an art festival could become a mini-tour of the world, as long as the different booths and tents had merchants from all around. Even a specific festival, one celebrating African or Irish art, food, or culture, allows you to immerse yourself in a day of experiences that are unfamiliar.
Meet Your Neighbors
If you live near anyone who’s from a different culture, you could experience a new side of the world just by getting to know them. If they’ve recently moved to your area, they may still have many of the traditions, codes, and cultural norms of their last home. By befriending them, you could learn some of their language, their worldview, and the traditions their family holds. You’d be able to experience another culture up close, even more so than if you visited their original country.
While a culture halfway around the world looks different, a culture an hour away might look different, too. If you leave near Oregon, you could experience North Bend, OR, and enjoy the beauty of nature, the fun of a casino or two, and the culture of the residents. If the people live life at a different pace than what you’re used to, the vacation can feel almost as different as traveling farther. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive. Seeing the world doesn’t have to mean going far.
Go on a Road Trip
When you road trip, you have the chance to partake in many different cultures along the way. Each town you stop in will be a little different, and each new destination allows you to experience different food, different landscapes, and a different way of doing things. Anyone from the East Coast who visits the South will fully admit it’s a cultural flip-flop, and a bit of Southern hospitality might reshape the way they interact with strangers. Have a trusted mechanic, possibly one with one of the automotive & diesel technology degrees many colleges offer to inspect your car to make sure that it’s good-to-go. Then start exploring! You never know what you might see.
Stay at a Homestay
Traveling across the world can be expensive, but it’s less expensive if you stay at a homestay. With a homestay, you can connect with people from all across the world by staying in their house when you travel. Unlike properties on VRBO, your host family at a homestay interacts with you. They might feed you, give you recommendations, or even show you around the city themselves. A homestay is one of the most direct ways anyone can experience a different culture, and everyone should try it at least once in their life.
Travel with Friends
Another great way to see the world is to see it with friends. Without a few different perspectives, you could miss out on cultural experiences. You might personally be too timid to try the street food, or you might decide a shadow puppet performance sounds boring. With friends, you’ll have outside influences finding new things to see and try, and if you go along, you’ll find aspects of the culture you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
When you travel with friends, they help you experience cultures in a way you may not have if you were adventuring solo. Traveling alone, however, offers a similarly unique chance to see the world, just in a different way. Traveling alone can be frightening, but it forces you to interact with a country’s residents even more. If you’re not sure what to do next, you can’t turn to your friend or spouse and speak English. This method of exploring forces you to depend on the culture you’re experiencing.
Finally, one of the best ways to experience another culture is to volunteer. If you visit Mexico as a tourist, you’ll have a very different experience than if you visit as a volunteer. Volunteer work tends to place you in the communities themselves. You might build an orphanage or work with at-risk women, but wherever you go, you’ll experience the culture in a more intimate setting, and the memories would likely be more meaningful.