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How to Travel Deep Into a Culture

How to Travel Deep Into a Culture

There’s a ton of generic articles about traveling and different aspects of it – how to travel under budget, what are the main hot spots around the world, what attractions are a must see, etc. The problem with those tricks and tips is that they result in the same experience for different travelers.

All of us have a different perception of our surroundings and we all have a unique idea of what makes us happy. That is why I believe it’s necessary to find your own way of getting to know a foreign culture and sink into it to find your own unique impressions. The next few tips, which I found to be more than helpful, are more guidelines than rules, and this makes them simple to apply and modify in whichever way you want, so check them out.

1. Personalized Travel Arrangements

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    Traveling enthusiasts who decide to set off on a journey by joining a tourist group will actually miss out on the really important things that one has to see and experience. Just think about it – you and dozens of other people will go to the same place where hundreds and thousands have already been, you’ll take pictures of monuments and tourist attractions known worldwide and you’ll end up sharing the same old memories with many others you don’t even know.

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    So, instead of becoming a part of someone’s routine, you should do some serious research and create your own route. Naturally, you’ll want to leave some room for spontaneity, because the best moments happen when you least expect.

    2. Stay in an Apartment

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      Hotels and motels are the usual way to go, but nothing says “I’m a tourist here” more than getting out of one of these buildings. Offers for tourists in most cities are focused on hotels and motels, but staying here actually means that you’ll be seeing just the superficial side of a particular location and you’ll come back home with a fridge magnet or a snow globe.

      In order to truly explore a foreign city and find a place in your heart for it, you should rent an apartment instead. Although many believe that this is a more expensive option, it’s quite the opposite – your travel mates and you will be able to cook for yourselves, you’ll have a lot more privacy and the whole atmosphere will be homey and cozy.

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      3. Go to the Food Market

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        Dining in restaurants is another way to eat what you’d normally eat at home, but you’ll probably pay more for it, because the chances are you’ll enter a restaurant that caters to tourists and makes a hefty profit from them. Sure, there will be a couple of new dishes on the menu, but the fact is most people decide to go with familiar foods.

        One of the genius ways to get to know another culture is going to the local food market. There’s a whole lot to what a people eats – it defines their habits, their way of life and particular flavors that make them unique. I’m sure you’ll be able to find recipes prepared by local households that you can make on your own by simply looking around a bit. There will be a time when you prepare that same meal back home, and I’m sure its taste will trigger a number of wonderful memories.

        4. Get Lost

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          Following a map for tourists will take you to all those same places a ton of people visited before you, even if you decide to travel on your own without contacting a tourist agency. It’s only natural to see the Eiffel Tower if you’re in Paris, but instead of wasting your time on waiting in long lines in front of it, you should make your own path.

          Don’t be afraid to wander the streets and get lost. There’s a certain amount of magic in exploring an unfamiliar surrounding by yourself – it will lead you deeper into the culture of the local people, which you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

          5. Make a Friend

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            When it comes to tourist groups and their generic organizations, you’ll be able to make contacts with people who all probably have the same starting point as you do. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it won’t help you get to know a certain culture like you should.

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            Instead of wasting your time and money on a completely planned travel experience that’s quite dry in spirit, you should focus on making friends with the locals and finding yourself a great friend/guide. Simply talk to people, even if you don’t know the language – it’s even more interesting if you don’t, because you’ll have to communicate to locals using every piece of wit you have.

            6. Participate

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              Before you start your journey, I’d advise you to do some in-depth research on the culture and history of the places you’ll be visiting. In order to truly understand a nation, you need to get to know their ways – how they celebrate and party, which causes they fight for, how their city is structured, etc. Therefore, while you’re doing your research, pay additional attention to events that are in need of volunteers, happenings organized by the city and possible festivals where you can go party.

              7. Think Big

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                The majority of travelers usually decide to go with world-famous locations, most of which are metropolises. If you decide to follow my guidelines, you’ll be able to overcome most tourist cliches. However, there’s one more thing you should put on your checklist – you should visit the outskirts and the rural environments near the city you’re in. To truly connect with a culture, you must find out more about its roots.

                The whole point of traveling is getting out of your own cultural frames, sort of speaking. If your mind is closed for new experiences, you won’t get everything you want out of your journey. Probably the most important thing you should do before you even start packing is opening your mind – you won’t believe all the amazing things that can happen if you do this. Bon voyage!

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                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                Last Updated on November 5, 2020

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on Small Tasks

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

                If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

                You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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                2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

                When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

                Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

                3. Upgrade Yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a Friend

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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                If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

                Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

                6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

                7. Read a Book (or Blog)

                The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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                8. Have a Quick Nap

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

                Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

                  One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

                  9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

                  10. Find Some Competition

                  When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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                  11. Go Exercise

                  Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

                  If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

                  12. Take a Few Vacation Days

                  If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

                  More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

                  Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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