As a college student, I have taken many different classes that attempt to broaden my horizons by introducing me to various cultures. However, I think most of us can agree that the true way to experience a culture is outside the classroom. The places we go, the people we meet, and the things we see all become a part of us, even in ways that may not seem obvious. Traveling allows us to see the world through new eyes.
The first step to traveling is to stop thinking like a tourist and start thinking like a visitor. Yes, it is important to see all the major landmarks, but at the same time, simply wandering along a random street will teach you just as much, if not more, about what it is like to be a native. Find a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and taste the authentic flavors of the local cuisine. If you’re feeling adventurous, put down the menu, and simply ask the chef to prepare anything he desires. Chances are, you will walk away with a new favorite dish, that you may have otherwise never ordered!
Each country has its own specific traditions. Find out what those are and partake in them; it’ll be a special moment in which you will be both learning and participating in the culture. If you’re visiting Turkey, hang a Nazar amulet on the evil eye tree! If you’re in Japan, attend a tea ceremony! These rituals will make you more introspective while allowing you to connect with the local people on a deeper level.
Whenever you are visiting a new place, try and do something you’ve never done before. You already took the first step out of your comfort zone by leaving your home for a new place, now venture a little further and try a unique activity. Go snorkeling, skydiving, dolphin watching, anything! It will make your trip all the more memorable.
Seeing modern culture is an amazing experience, but it is important to remember the history behind where you are. Visit a museum, take a walk around a historic neighborhood, read the little signposts telling you stories. Take it all in, the past and the present.
And for all you fellow Fashionistas, every single moment of your travel adventures can inspire your wardrobe. Curate a variety of colors, styles, and prints from across the world and take them home with you to style outfits that reflect you, your experiences, and how you’ve changed as a result of those experiences. Meeting people from all different walks of life has only cemented my desire to travel the world in order to understand the people around me. So my advice to you is, pack your bags and travel the world!
How does traveling make your life better? Share your travel stories with us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.