Are You Compromising Your Cultural Exposure When You Travel?

Friday, 29 April 2022

While a range of reasons including sun, fun, and escapism most often contribute to our desire to travel, those of us with real wanderlust in our bones also often feel an urge to get lost in cultures other than our own.

Unfortunately, an increasingly tourist-focused travel industry, and its impact on countless popular destinations, means that cultural exposure is by no means a given. Plus, depending on how we choose to travel/act, we can inadvertently further block ourselves from the true cultural exposure that we’re hoping for. 

By leaving us lacking in memorable, unique experiences, this can quickly become a problem, and it’s one that you can begin to overcome by simply considering the following ways that you might be blocking yourself from cultural exposure right now. 

# 1 - Failure to Research

If you don’t take the time to research in advance, it can be impossible to get a full cultural picture of a country for the short duration of your trip. By comparison, hitting the internet in search of things like local food traditions, history, and even trends such as dress or sports as outlined on sites like, can help you to embrace the best experiences throughout your stay. In fact, the more you know, the better able you’ll be to develop a trip itinerary that’s a true reflection of your location, instead of sticking to the same old things you do every time you’re away.

# 2 - You’re Travelling Like a Tourist

Travelling like a tourist is perhaps the most sure-fire way to miss out on what a culture has to offer. Everything from location choice to where you choose to sleep and even the areas you visit throughout the day will certainly struggle if you stick to the most obvious, tourist-heavy areas where locals wouldn’t even think of heading. To avoid this limitation, it’s therefore always worth choosing less obvious options. Luckily, there are now plenty of apps to help you here when it comes to things like where you eat, while even choosing to stay with locals instead of in a nearby hotel can help you get a true taste of what any country has to offer. 

# 3 - You’re Overlooking Local Languages

While there’s an obvious temptation to head to areas where English is a commonly used language, using this as an excuse to overlook even basic language learning while away can be another fatal cultural mistake. After all, languages are often steeped in the history and meaning of a place. Learning even a few words with the help of sites like can also help you to converse with locals who can recommend experiences you’d never find
otherwise. In turn, you’re sure to have a far more rounded, authentic experience, as well as returning home with a newly acquired skill that keeps the trip fresh in your mind for a long time to come.

Culture can transform any trip. Make sure you aren’t limiting yourself by locking it out of your experiences in these ways! What are some of the travel mistakes you've made in the past? Share them in the comments below!

And Until Next Time...
Stay Curious!

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