Five reasons to meet locals when travelling

 

There are many reasons why we love to travel. We like going on adventures, trying new things and meeting new people. We want to taste different cuisines, enjoy breathtaking views and chill on tropical beaches. What makes our travels even more amazing is meeting locals. We give you five reasons why.

Traveling to unknown destinations is extremely addictive. It takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel alive. It’s also an amazing way to make new friends from all over the world. But don’t forget to meet locals, because they can make your experience absolutely unforgettable.

1. Locals are the best guides

 
 

 

A common thing to hear from travellers is that they love to go to places where no other tourists go. But if you only use your guide book or the hostel’s recommendations of places to visit and things to do, you’ll probably end up with exactly the thing you’re trying to get away from: masses of tourist. If you want to find out about the special places, hanging with a local is your best bet. They also know the best places

2. Language practice

 
 

Photo by Dmitri Popov on Unsplash

The best way to learn a language quickly is to hang out with locals. If you only hang out with fellow travellers, you end up speaking either your own language because it feels comfortable. Or you speak English all the time, because that’s what everyone understands. Hanging out with locals forces you to get out of your comfort zone and practice a new language. Might be really scary and uncomfortable in the beginning. But practicing pronunciation, improving your vocabulary and becoming conversational or fluent really goes quickest when you put yourself out there and communicate with locals.

3. Celebrate local festivities

 
 

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Every culture and country has its own festivities. The Scandinavian have their Midsummer, the Dutch celebrate the king’s birthday on King’s Day and in Ireland they celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The best way to celebrate is to join locals, they will show you how it’s done. Want to celebrate like the Irish? Join your new made Irish friend to the closets Irish pub and see what happens. And even when you’re not in Ireland, you can find an Irish Pub in your own city and learn more about local Irish festivities, beautiful folk music with the violin…and beer.

4. Indulge yourself with hospitality

 
 

 

Being abroad you’ll be surprised how extremely hospitable people are. You can save on transportation costs by hitch hiking and locals are mostly more than happy to help you out. When you show genuine interests in them, in their lives and in their culture, they will invite you for dinner and meeting their family. Sometimes, locals can even be a life saver and offer you a place to sleep.

5. Immerse yourself in the local culture: be like a local

 
 

 

If you really want to get to know a country and a culture, it’s gonna take more than visiting the local supermarket, eating local specialties and getting drunk on local beers. Learning about a culture is impossible without knowing how people live, what their daily life looks like and how they spend their free time. What are their habits, customs and preferences? Or course you can read all about it in your Lonely Planet or on the internet. But if you really want to get acquainted with a culture, get out there and meet a local. Spend time with them and their family. Or, if it fits you more, invite someone from abroad and exchange habits at home.

Enough reasons to meet locals when travelling. What is your best experience with a local?

Interested in cultural differences, create a profile @2glimpse and find your host and/or guest.

 

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