You’ve travelled to a new city, and a world of wonder and excitement are waiting for you outside that window. The possibilities are endless – but they’re also overwhelming. You want to take a fun approach that gives you an enriching cultural experience, but how should you start? Of course there are many ways to explore a city, but this list of seven ideas should jump-start your exploration. Customize them to include your own unique style, and you’ll be feeling like a local in no time.
1. Give Yourself a Mission. There is no better way to investigate a new area than by making a game out of it. Perhaps you may challenge yourself to see how many book stores you can visit in one day. Or maybe you will go on a quest to find out which café has the best coffee. The possibilities are endless.
2. Delve into History. Dig out that history book – or head over to Google – to learn about the historical background of your city – then set off for a trip through time. You may also consider checking out places you’ve read about in books, newspapers and magazines.
3. Ditch Public Transportation. You can’t really explore the city when you’re moving so fast! Grab a bike or walk instead.
4. Take Up Blogging. In the excitement of here and now, it’s easy to only get a ‘surface’ view of the city. Take time to write about your experiences, the things you saw, and how it made you feel. Take your camera along too – pictures will bring your writing to life.
Learning from the Locals
5. Connect with the Locals. A city is more than buildings and pavement. Talking to the locals will enrich your cultural experience and give you great insights about the area. Go beyond meaningless conversation and ask them questions, for example: what is your favourite thing to do here?
6. Explore Local Cuisine. Food is the perfect guide to a city’s heart. Skip the McDonalds and try authentic local restaurants for a taste of culture
7. Live with a Host Family. If it’s possible, the best way to learn about a city is by staying with a host family. You’ll learn about family dynamics in your new area, and you’ll get a new cultural experience every day.
Your new city is waiting to wow you with adventures and surprises – but it’s up to you to take that first step. What are you waiting for? Get out and…