Best Ways to Get to Know New People When Travelling Abroad


Visiting a country for the first time will always be an exciting experience. With the opportunity to explore, see the sights, and generally have fun, no one could argue that a journey like this isn’t worth it. Here are some of the best activities that will help you get to know the country’s people, culture and lifestyle habits.

A busy street crossing in Vienna, Austria

A busy street crossing in Vienna | Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

There is one aspect that many guests miss when they planning a trip or holiday to a new country; the people. We focus so much on all the details of planning (booking the transportation and accommodation, making a list of all the sights we want to visit, plan activities at the destination, etc.) and sometimes we miss out one thing that really makes the travel experience special: connection to people and discovery of new cultures.

Meeting the locals during a village tour in Bali with Five Pillar Foundation

Meeting the locals during a village tour in Bali with Five Pillar Foundation

This is a shame, as the people that live in a place are its only real connection to culture, and learning more about them, the things they like, and their culture can be an excellent way to make more out of your adventures. To help you out with this, this article will be exploring some of the best activities for those who want to get to know a country and its people.

1. Experience the Nightlife

A day spent in a city will give you an idea of how the place works, how people like to get around, and how they act when they are at work, but it will be hard to see their true colors without a little more work. Exploring nightlife will give you the chance to see the locals let their hair down. This will give you the chance to listen to local music, talk to local people, and, most importantly, enjoy the activities that are most popular at your destination.

Enjoying nightlife can be a little bit risky, and it’s always worth making sure that you are aware of the chances of crime in the cities you visit. Aside from this, though, you should be able to have loads of fun. Going to nightclubs and bars is a part of this, but it can also be worth looking for theatre and musical performances, as this will also give you a clear insight into the culture that you’re visiting. Many people ignore this side of the nightlife in the places they see, making it crucial that you put the right time into this to get enough out of it.

The exciting nightlife of Las Vegas, USA

The exciting nightlife of Las Vegas, USA

2. Attend Sport Events

Few things are able to bring the world together like sports, with the few worldwide events that take place between countries usually being related to this kind of activity. The Olympics, World Cup, and a host of other events fall into this category, but you’re going to be more interested in the little events that locals go to. Some cities and towns will have their own takes on existing sports, while others will have sports that you’ve never seen before. Forget the Power Rankings for the 2020 season; it’s time to dive into something different.

Not only is the sport itself a big piece of a country’s culture, but the people that attend these sorts of games can also give you an understanding of the way they live. It’s always worth looking up the sports locations when you visit a place for the first time. You will almost certainly be able to find local stadiums and pitches to watch games on, though you may also be able to find events that are a little more unique. Throwing massive logs, running from bulls, and rolling wheels of cheese are just a few examples of the weird and wonderful sports found across the globe.

Cycling activities in the Cotswolds, England

Cycling activities in the Cotswolds, England

3. Go Shopping

Spending a day on a city’s streets exploring shops, tasting new foods, and generally soaking up the atmosphere is always a good way to connect with the people that live there. It’s usually worth avoiding major tourist shopping areas, as this won’t give you a taste of the authentic experience you’re trying to have. Instead, you should look for the shopping areas used by the locals in the place you’re visiting. Not only will this give you an idea of what people like to buy, but it will also help you to get gifts and keepsakes that are far more authentic.

The everyday open market in Ubud, Bali

The everyday open market in Ubud, Bali

Most cities will have two sides like this. On the one hand, they will be designed to make the most of their tourist presence. On the other, though, normal people live there and will need the chance to do their shopping in a way that doesn’t make life difficult. This is particularly important when it comes to food in a place. It will be all too easy to stumbleupon places that you recognize and feel comfortable with if you are only exploring tourist areas. Instead, it makes a lot more sense to go where you’ll find the locals.

A food market in Jersey island

A food market in Jersey island

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on the activities that will give you the best impression of the people that live in the places you’re visiting. A lot of people struggle with work like this, finding it hard to know what needs to be done when they are trying to get to know the people and culture found at their destination.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.

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