Visiting a place can be about more than seeing some landmarks. Discovering customs, see how various products are made, getting in touch with the locals… all these and many more can help you get to know better the place you are in. There are 4 easy ways to take the pulse of the place you are visiting.
1. Speak (Get in touch) with the locals
Establishing a connection with someone who lives there is more easy than it sounds. Asking a question, buying a beer or getting introduced are some simple ways you can do just that: start a conversation. If you stay for a longer while in a place, then you have the time you need to speak with several people, maybe from different environments. Don’t think about something complicated: you can speak with a person at the flea market, a receptionist, someone from a museum, a person in a metro and so on. If you want to be more advanced, then you could try Rosetta Stone.
2. Read the newspapers
Understanding several languages is always a good thing, so when travelling in a country with such a familiar language make sure you buy some newspapers and read some magazines. Yes, the internet is always a cheaper option, though there are newspapers that don’t offer for free their articles online. More than that, I liked reading some USA newspapers (as I don’t often have that opportunity), to read some French magazines when I visited Paris and so on.
3. Discover how some local products are made
Different places have special products, and sometimes you can easily get access to places where you can see how they are made. For instance, in Saint Lucia (the Caribbean), you can see how to prepare cassava bread or how crayfish are caught in the river, while in other parts of a world you’ll be able to see how a glass vase is made, and in Romania, Horezu region, you can even make your own ceramic place or bowl.
4. Taste the local food
It may sound like a cliché, but it could be a real challenge to try some local dishes. Depending on the origin area and on personal preferences, you might find the food in some parts of the world to be delicious, and the one in other parts of the globe as not suitable for you. Or you could even decide not to take a bite from a given dish.
These are my tips for really getting to know a place you are visiting. What do you do to find our more on your destination once you get there?