Each year, nearly 66 million Americans travel outside of the US and voyage to foreign lands across the globe. The United Nations estimates that 20 percent of all international travelers are millennials, comprising approximately 200 million people. But how many of those millions of individuals can boast that they’ve openly traveled beyond their native mentalities at all? How many travelers are focused on being more cultured?
Being more cultured is about stepping outside of your comfort zone and into the perspective of the new individuals you meet. If you travel to Mexico and stay within the confines of an American mindset, can you truly boast that you visited this country bustling with history and culture?
When it comes to the perks of an open and understanding mindset, don’t just take our word for it. Here are four simple ways being more cultured can help you get the most out of your traveling experience.
Voyaging to a new country serves as the perfect occasion for being more cultured. If you’re a picky eater, being more impulsive in the kitchen while abroad opens your mind up to an entirely new eating experience. Consider changing your eating habits and swap your favorite dishes for a traditional meal to become better immersed in your new surroundings.
Sit down with the locals and eat some Schnitzel in a German pub — you may just ask the chef for a recipe you can bring back home. It is certainly a fun way to work on being more cultured.
The next time you go to a foreign country, try talking to locals in their native tongue. You may be wondering, “how can you expect me to learn a second language in only a matter of days?” You don’t have to pick up the entire vocabulary of a second language to get by in a foreign country. Research studies show that the right stimulus, such as foreign travels, can retrain the brain into picking up unfamiliar words more easily.
The next time you travel to the Dominican Republic, try speaking to natives in Spanish before you resort to English. Keep a translator app on your phone with you for added comfort. You may fumble over a few words — which is perfectly human! Locals will notice your efforts and open up more easily when they see your dedication to learning more about being more cultured — language included.
Imagine a world where everyone spoke the same language, practiced the same religion, and had the same cultural customs. Pretty underwhelming, isn’t it?
One of the greatest beauties of our world is the various cultures that define it. It’s incredible to see the myriad of fashions, holidays, and foods that represent multiple countries of the world. Some of the very practices you follow today were likely influenced by one cultural exchange or another in the past.
Being more cultured means taking what you learn in a foreign land and sharing this new knowledge with individuals you meet throughout the globe. Taking cultures home allows others to experience the beauty of groups they may not know.
Write down recipes, take note of customs, and pick up a tradition or two in a foreign land. Scatter this knowledge everywhere you go to keep the diversity of the world flourishing and alive.
When you travel the world, you can easily boast to have seen the world’s greatest wonders. You may have climbed the Andes Mountains and sailed across the Pacific Ocean, but did you connect with individuals in these foreign countries? Monuments and landscapes only constitute a portion of the new lands you explore. What’s even greater, and perhaps more significant, is the people themselves.
Reaching out to individuals during your travels offers you the possibility to learn about a new culture. Speaking to natives on a personal level allows others to realize you see them as more than just a stereotype and fosters the development of genuine relationships with a meaningful connection.
You can’t expect to go to a new land rich with unique cultural experiences with a closed mind. From the plates of food to the native tongue locals use to communicate, voyaging to a foreign land is often synonymous with jumping into a different culture as well.
With a willingness to learn and an appreciation for a different culture, you can boast you’ve truly traveled the globe while expanding your own understanding of the world and being more cultured.