Who doesn’t love to travel? Being able to venture into the different cultures, traditions and the history of the world is something that we all dream to be able to experience at some point in our lives. But there’s a certain boundary that we tend to stay behind as we travel from country to country, being seen only as ‘tourists’, and it leaves a longing to really know and experience more than just the generic tourist options. So how could you delve deeper into any of the countries that you plan to visit? The answer is simple. You need to learn more about the culture.
By learning more about a country’s culture, you allow yourself to really get into why society is the way it is and understand how the people live and certainly gain a greater appreciation for the experiences that you have.
When you, as a tourist, make the effort to really learn about the culture of the country that you are visiting, it certainly makes you more relatable to the locals. For example, if you were going to visit Korea, and you decided to learn Korean before going, the locals would be much easier to communicate with. It’s ignorant to assume that in every country you intend to visit, that they will speak your language. There are many people that simply do not have the means to learn more than their native language, and so it’s best for you to learn how to speak well enough to make the locals feel comfortable. By learning about their norms and traditions, the things you can and cannot do and say, you allow yourself to be more relatable and welcoming, and this, in turn, allows you to experience a side of the country you are visiting in a completely different way.
If you understand more about a culture, you’re bound to get much more exposure than you would if you were going in not knowing a single thing. The locals would be pleased to show you parts of their town or city that tourists normally wouldn’t get to experience because along with the language and cultural understanding, you provide that kind of ease that allows them to want to show you more than the tourist attractions.
It’s one thing to go sightseeing and take in the entertainment that’s put out from a place intended for tourists, but when you learn about the culture, traditions, and history, you really do look at everything differently. You look at the location that you’re visiting from a different perspective, and once you’re done and head back home, it’s something that changes your outlook for the rest of your life. You’re able to empathize and see life from another culture’s perspective, and this is no small feat. We are usually conditioned by our own norms and cultures, and this is the way we believe everything should be. But by learning about other cultures, you open your mind to new perspectives on the very same things you do and see, and you learn about new things that you never even knew of in the past.
There are many people that visit different countries with certain expectations of what they believe to be fun, normal and entertaining, and then are ungrateful and disappointed because they get something completely different. When you learn more about a culture, you learn to appreciate the differences. You understand why they behave the way they do, and you are able to have more respect and appreciation for their local traditions and upbringing. What some people consider to be bad food or not tasty or bland or too simple, or too spicy, another consider to be the best food they make, and you’re supposed to be honored that the locals offer you this.
Learning about another culture runs much deeper than gaining knowledge. Especially if you’re going to travel to this country. The experience for you as a tourist because so much more well rounded and exciting because you have gained a deeper understanding of the details of their culture, their society, tradition, history, and norms. By doing so, you allow yourself to be welcomed to experience much more and you also allow yourself to have a greater appreciation and respect for things that are probably alien and foreign to you. You get to understand a lot more by also learning the local languages so that you’re able to communicate and learn more.