There are many different ways to travel, and not everybody will encounter the same travel adventure. This is due to many travelers going to destinations that are tourist traps instead of looking for an authentic experience. Or maybe they think that’s what they’ll get but instead embark on a different travel adventure all together. A regular tourist experience is one where you embark on activities meant solely for tourists which could actually be very different from what any of the locals do. This makes the majority of travel experiences inauthentic.
What is an authentic experience?
When it comes to travel, there is a difference between an authentic experience and a non authentic one. Some examples of an authentic experience include slowly traveling through a destination instead of flying everywhere, spending time with locals, dining where the residents eat and avoiding the tourist-heavy places that are just after a quick payment. If you head to a destination with a different native language to your own, learning how to communicate with those that live there is another sure-fire way to have a local experience.
In order to really understand what an authentic experience is, we have some examples to show you below:
If you go to Jordan, you may want to experience what local Bedouin people do. This excursion allows you to spend a day with a Bedouin Shepherd and see how they herd their sheep and goats on a daily basis while living off land. They’re a nomadic group who live within their means and will show you how their local experience in the Jordanian desert could be an exciting travel adventure for you too. See how to herd the animals, what they eat, practice shearing their wool and learn what to do when the animals give birth.
New Zealand is a country still very in tune with their indigenous communities and cultures. This Maori tour teaches you about the community of Maori that live in New Zealand and are keeping their communities’ culture and traditions alive. You can have an authentic experience in this traditional Maori village learning all about their way of life while contributing to the local experience and economy. During the summer you can participate in their summer harvest which aligns with the lunar calendar, hear ancient stories about the culture and eat traditional Maori foods.
It’s no surprise that onsen are very popular in Japan and this local experience allows you to make the most of their advantages. When you visit a traditional Japanese onsen, you get to enjoy an authentic experience while also enjoying the health benefits that come with them. Imagine enjoying a peaceful and serene view while soaking your troubles away in this luxurious hot pool.
Why do people like having an authentic experience?
Not only is it great to really immerse yourself into another culture, but it’s a way to participate in sustainable travel too. By putting money towards a local experience and community, you’re directly feeding the economy in a positive way rather than damaging it like you could with over tourism on a different type of travel adventure.
There are so many ways to truly have a local experience when visiting somewhere new. Whether you head to a village full of residents or indulge in natural spa treatments and remedies made by those who live there, you can count on having a better understanding of the destination than if you only stick to the tourist hotspots.
Be open minded and check out of our options above, or go out and venture into the areas the locals go instead of just following the tourist crowd.
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