There is nothing more delightful than the first steps you take when you are heading out on a new adventure.
Whether you leave the country by train, bus or boat, the moment you see the familiar scenery disappear behind you, the magical feeling of freedom will come over you. You are on the open road again. The adventure has begun.
To make the adventure even more special, I always found it marvelous to indulge myself in the local way of life.
These are the 4 things I love the most:
Eat with locals
It is a great experience to eat with locals. And you can meet up with them in a variety of ways.
There is always the chance of being invited into someone´s home if you met them on the bus or during another occasion. Be open, honest and ask for tips where to go and locals will love to help you!
I remember being invited and eating with a lovely Italian family in their favorite restaurant in Milan, Italy and I just went for it. I ordered the same as they did. When the pasta came (oh so simply delicious, one day I will move here if it was only for the food!), I thought this to be the main dish and completely finished it, only to find it was just a “starter” and the main course was yet to come!
If you choose to eat at small local or family-run restaurants, chances are that locals will invite you to join them.
In some restaurants they even have a “policy” that you join your neighbours at one big table. These restaurants are often budget friendly as well. Another advantage is that here the real local fare is served and your new friends would love to recommend you the local specialties and you can some new insights.
Work with locals
Living and working with locals gives you a great opportunity to really experience the local way of life and they can bring you lots of benefits, like accommodation, meals and earnings.
A travel job offers you the chance to grasp how life in this specific place is, it gives you a unique insight you would otherwise never get. You see and experience their habits and customs first-hand.
One summer I was living with a family in Vienna as an au pair, one summer afternoon the children and I were playing at the beautifully decorated balcony in the middle of Vienna, aromas of freshly baked Sachter Torte and the mesmerizing sound of someone playing the violin drifted through the air. I loved it. Working abroad gives you amazing experiences. To find amazing & adventurous travel jobs you can look on message boards in hostels or supermarkets or at specific online resources.
‘Sleep’ with locals
Staying with locals gives a great chance to really see the local way of life. You get a good feeling how it is to live in that specific region or country you are in. The best part is when you are on a trip, for example in mountainous areas, and locals invite you up to stay with them for the night. This way I have been sleeping in a corner on thick soft blankets of a big Buddhist monastery in Myanmar.
Travel with locals
Using the same transportation as the locals do offers new possibilities for nice conversations and new experiences. These modes of transportation are often a bit slower, offering you the chance for more interaction during a longer period of time and build an relationship. I enjoyed travelling with a Chinese family on a long train ride, sharing food I never ate (or saw for that matter) before.
In most cases travelling with locals, includes travelling by land, giving you the opportunity to see the different landscapes of the country, which can vary wildly and the people from different regions boarding and leaving the bus or train.
As the other local tips this one as well can save huge amounts of money. First I wanted to by my train ticket for the Trans-Siberian express beforehand, but decided to buy it in Moscow itself. This turned out to save me a pile of money! And when a Russian student I met before, helped me buying it the advantages (being able to hop on and off the train 5 times during the journey to see Russian cities) grew even bigger! It was a journey of a lifetime.
So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do! Enjoy!
Travel tip shared by Caroline Rood