Learn from the Locals

The best way to appreciate a new town, city, or country is to wake up early, take a stroll, and watch the locals. When I say watch, I mean strike up a conversation and learn what you can from them about the surrounding areas. Where you should eat, what you should see, when you should visit, etc...

I live in New Jersey. This cool artwork is in Asbury Park

I love to learn from locals no matter where I am going or how many times I may have visited already. Here are some tips that I hope you will use as an inspiration the next time you find yourself traveling!



1. Don't over pack your itinerary. You can't be running between pre-planned activities, restaurants, and attractions and still take time to explore. You can miss out on local neighborhoods or other areas that may be more interesting to you.

Along those lines...

2. Be open and willing to change your plans. For example you have found yourself in a park speaking with a lovely local lady all about the history of the area and have a reservation in 20 minutes at some "cool" restaurant, I say skip it and learn more. Then at the end of the conversation ask for a recommendation if you're still hungry.

Along those lines...

3. Except that not everyone will talk with you. Yes, language can be a huge barrier when it comes to speaking with someone, but you should also notice how they are interacting with others or if they seem hurried. I would say use common sense when looking to strike up a conversation.

Along those lines...

4. Use a locally- owned or operated service. I am not a fan of guided tours and therefore usually won't take them; however I found a nice young gentleman offering a food tour in Miami to his top 3 favorite Cuban restaurants. Support local!

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5. Use social media to travel like a local. Browse the destinations accounts on FB, Twitter, and Instagram but not the tourism accounts. For example I live in New Jersey and love following NJisntboring on social media! You can also search neighborhoods on Instagram and see what some of the top posts are and what locals are posting about in their area!

Along those lines...

6. Share with your friends and family where you are going and ask if they know anyone who may be living there. With college kids studying abroad, expats, and digital nomads you may be surprised at the number of places in the world in which you can connect with your best friends cousins boyfriends sister.

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7. Meet them at a trendy bar or authentic restaurant. Then ask the following people ( Bartender, Waiter, or Host) what local places they recommend!

Hidden garden seating at this restaurant in Barcelona!


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8. Eat like a local. Try a dish you never had or even heard of before. Avoid crowded places that look like they have tourists and expats. Walk into a local grocery store and ask the guy behind the counter to recommend a snack or lite bite that is authentic to where you are visiting!

Along those lines....

9. Thank everyone. This should be a given and in the world we live in today we need to say thank you more and be appreciative of everyone we meet. You never know when you may cross paths again or even need to reach out! Be polite, always!

Along those lines....

10. Share your top tip for learning from locals?




XoXo,
Tracy




Comments

  1. You are so right! interactions with locals gives you such a good insight into the true culture of a place.

    ReplyDelete

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