Going travelling is a great experience for anyone who wants to expand their horizons, experience new things and enjoy getting away from all the daily struggles we go through at home. It can be a fantastic way to meet new people, a fun way to experience new things, and an eye opening experience that gives you more interesting things to talk about.
At the same time though, going travelling is also a great opportunity for learning and to broaden your mind. You will be spending time in one or several completely new countries meaning you can learn about their way of life, about their traditions and cultures and about their geography. The only downside? Not everyone does this and for many the experience stays quite a shallow one spent mostly enjoying the aspects that are designed for tourists.
Here we will look at how you can get more from your travels by learning about the country you’re visiting and how you can expand your mind as a result.
Go Off the Beaten Track
The first thing you need to do if you want to learn about the country you're staying in is to visit areas that aren't specifically designed for tourists. This means wondering into the smaller towns, or going for a drive across the open country which will show you the way of life that most residents experience without the added façade of tourism.
Speak to Locals
Another way you can learn about the country you're visiting is to speak to the locals - and most of them will be touched you asked and very happy to share as much information as they can. This is how you will learn about the politics in the area, about the work available and about other key issues, and crucially how you'll learn about the way the locals feel about these things.
Speaking to the right locals of course is also important so try speaking to tour guides and pub owners - the kinds of people who will be more likely to have knowledge and opinions about their homeland.
Try the Language
If you really want to compliment the people you're speaking to, then you should try and speak to them in their own language. If you actually make an effort and ask questions then you'll be surprised how much you can pick up in just a week or two. And if you really take to it then you may even decide to take the language further when you get home.
Visit Cultural Sites
Visiting the main historical sites is on anyone's to-do list when they visit a foreign country - but there are many more cultural and historical landmarks you can visit in most countries. For instance why not check out a local museum? Or art gallery? Or visit the capital and look around where the government is located? And while you're in these places, make sure that you also do your research and read the placards and information sheets you find there. You'd be surprised how interesting this can be, and how much of this information will stay with you.
Jenny Wadlow is an avid traveller and the owner of several travel blogs. She has listed some sites on her blog from where one can find cheap accomodation in South Perth.