Many people have similar ideas of world travel--plane tickets, hotels, and traditional tourist destinations. However, there are many other ways to experience the world abroad. If you don’t want to do the same things each time you travel to a different country, or if you’re just looking to try something new with your world traveling, then you might consider changing up the way that you see the world at large. If you’re one of these people looking for a fresh way to vacation internationally, then consider some of these different ways to experience the world.
Serve the World
A common way of traveling that some people overlook is finding opportunities to serve in other countries. This is a frequent practice among college-aged people, but it can be a viable option for anyone who is looking to travel the world, experience cultures, and provide service for those in need. The great thing about deciding to volunteer abroad is that there are as many different ways to volunteer and serve as there are countries. Projects such as building houses or participating in disaster cleanup may be some of the first things that come to your mind when you’re thinking about service abroad, but service doesn’t have to mean manual labor. Teaching and medicinal service are also frequent and rewarding types of international volunteering. Not only does service give you opportunities to work and help others in countries you might not normally get to experience, but it puts you in direct contact with the people who live there. And what better way to experience a country and culture than to be with the people themselves? Regardless of what you choose, these can be fulfilling experiences that also allow you to experience a country and culture in unique ways that you might not be able to otherwise.
Hiking and Camping
Due to the ready accessibility of natural wonders like Yellowstone National Park, Niagra Falls, and the Redwoods, many tourists may miss out on lesser-known or more difficult areas to reach. One way to explore a country that is unlike any other is to hike and camp out in places that are further from civilization and roads. Not only will you find yourself in places less frequently visited by other tourists, but you will get to experience the culture in ways that most people never do. Small towns, while tight-knit and lacking certain amenities, provide an in-depth experience with a country’s culture. As well, taking the opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside will offer you a unique experience. Mountains, waterfalls, forests, and rivers and so many other natural landmarks will give you a deeper appreciation of nature and the local and national life and culture. With this kind of vacation, you can go as big or as small as you want, adding a small hike or an entire camping trip to your international itinerary. It’s a perfect way to make each trip unique.
Experience the Culture Like a Native
Whether you have personal connections to people in a different country, or you have found a family to host you in your travels, finding a native is a way to experience a country in ways that you never could otherwise. Natives have access to and knowledge about places that most travelers will never find, even with the help of guidebooks and websites. Not only that, but these people will know the best times and ways to reach interesting and fun activities and sites. Of added benefit here is that you will have a translator and culture guide should you find the life of the country you’re visiting confusing. Take the opportunity to experience a country to its full extent by getting to personally know the people there and the way they live. You might surprise yourself by how much you enjoy a more relaxed and mundane vacation experience focused more on people and culture than sightseeing and running from one place to another.
However you choose to travel, there are many different ways that you can research and arrange to find your ideal vacation. Whether it’s a cross country hike or a stay in a small village with friends, you can have international experiences that can give you a new understanding of culture, as well as a tourist experience outside what most people can experience. In any case, it’s entirely up to you to figure out your days abroad can be spent. Good luck and bon voyage!
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