Although this blog is meant to give tips about living like the locals, it’s not a bad idea to start out as a tourist! Checking off the major sights will actually help you gather your bearings and learn the layout of the land. So, grab a map and check out the local museums, parks, and shopping.
While you are exploring your new area, it is important to be observant. Do what the locals do! It may sound obvious but paying attention to the locals’ day-to-day activities can really help immerse you in the culture there. Maybe everyone travels by bike or public transport; why not change your routine just once a week to try it out?
Next, I would recommend utilizing Facebook’s Events feature. It is a great tool to use, especially if you are in an area that you are unfamiliar with. This feature allows you to sort through what’s happening near you. It is organized by various categories including food, drink, music, shopping, fitness, and networking, just to name a few! This will keep you updated on the latest events that locals and travelers alike will be attending.
Find the local grocery stores or cafes. It can be tempting to open our phones to find the nearest big box retailers and the same chain restaurants we all love, but finding the local eateries and shopping will be an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. You will likely run into locals who can provide you with more insights of the area. This brings me to my next point – talking with locals!
Talking with local employees gives you the opportunity to find out more about the area, including where the hidden gems are. You may even make some new friends. By becoming a regular, you may start to notice some familiar faces which can be comforting in a new location.
Avoiding the noise and the crowds of the tourist destinations will give you a completely new perspective of traveling. A 13-week travel assignment will give you plenty of time to explore your new city. Setting time aside to do what the locals do, see, and eat will result in an experience of a lifetime.
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