There’s nothing more exciting than experiencing a new part of the world for the first time. Exploring a new area gives you invaluable life experiences regarding diversity, culture, acceptance, and self-discovery. The further you go from your backyard, the more opportunity you have to learn about cultures and traditions unlike your own and gain perspective on how diverse the world really is. If you think you’re ready to travel abroad, there are a few things you should know to fully envelop yourself in this new city and get the full cultural experience. Go beyond being a typical “tourist” and keep these tips in mind for taking the most out of your experience abroad.
Try new cuisine
One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through their cuisine. Countries have such vastly different items on the menu because of the way their culture has grown throughout time. Because different climates allow for different crops to grow, each country will have specialties, many of which you’ve likely never tried before. Try Australia’s one-of-a-kind meat pies, a real macaron from France, or my favorite, Canadian poutine. If this delicious snack of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds tickles your fancy the way it does mine, you may just find yourself looking for Montreal or Toronto homes for sale so you can experience this delicacy every day.
Plan ahead, but not too much
Before visiting a foreign city, take the time to research some basics. Know where you’re staying, where you can convert to local currency, and learn about some things to expect during your stay (pro tip: not all countries use the same type of outlet/plugs, so do yourself a favor and pick up a travel adapter or converter beforehand). Besides the basics, try not to stick to an itinerary. Part of the experience should be to explore, be spontaneous, and even get a little lost along the way. There’s always more to a city than the top five restaurants or top five monuments you might see online or on TV. Ask locals for recommendations and don’t be afraid to hop on public transit and see where you end up.
Track your journey
One of the most fun things for me when traveling to a new area is to keep track of where I have visited and my favorite experiences there. I like to buy a map and use colored pens to track my route around the city, or you use Google maps to track the ground you’ve covered. Take pictures, keep a journal, collect souvenirs, anything that helps you collect memories from your experiences. Posting pictures online to chronicle your adventure is always fun, but I always prefer an analog approach. I love journals that include pockets and places to keep things like ticket stubs, so I can remember and relive the amazing experiences I had. If you ever return to the area, you can recall favorite places to visit again.
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