Culture

A Traveler's Guide to Cultural Immersion

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One of the most rewarding aspects of travel is experiencing new cultures. In our experience, this is one of the biggest areas for personal growth that traveling can bring. Experiencing new cultures not only gives you a practical understanding about the world and its history, it will even teach you some things about yourself.

When we say "cultural immersion", we mean the act of integrating oneself into an unfamiliar culture, interacting with people within that culture, and attempting to understand their way of life from that perspective. If you are seeking cultural immersion on your next trip, here are some of our tips.

Stay with a Host Family

One of the simplest ways to experience cultural immersion while traveling is to stay with a host family during your trip. Staying with a host family offers an intimate view of another culture that you just can't experience any other way. Engaging in normal activities together, such as eating dinner or playing a card game, can really make you feel like an extension of the family. Not to mention this is a great way to keep up with your foreign language skills.

Learn the Language

Learning a foreign language is hard work, but it can be especially fulfilling to use your language skills to navigate a new culture. Being able to speak a foreign language (or sometimes even just a few words and phrases) can offer a dramatically different travel experience. If you're looking for an authentic experience off of the tourist circuit, speaking the language is a huge advantage.

It's important to note that cultural immersion is also the easiest way to learn a foreign language. If you are surrounded by people speaking the language, you don't really have a choice except to learn and improve!

Take Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a great way to experience a new place. You learn to navigate your new surroundings from the perspective of the locals. It will help you to understand people's daily routines and maybe you will strike up a conversation or two. It's a big bonus that it's usually the cheapest mode of transportation.

Learn How to Make Local Cuisine

If you love to cook, a great path to cultural immersion is learning to make local cuisine! Most travel destinations have classes, taught by a local chef, that teach you how to make different types of local dishes. Additionally, if you are staying with a host family or if you've made local friends, you could always offer to help make dinner. This is not only an opportunity to learn about various cuisines around the world and how they are prepared, but also a chance to spend time with locals and develop friendships.

Participate in Sports or Group Activities

Participating in group activities, joining a club or playing sports are all amazing opportunities for cultural immersion. You will spend time with members of your host community, learn more about traditions and customs, and people will know a little bit more about you based on what activities you choose. If you're going to be somewhere for an extended trip, seek out some local activities to get involved with while you're there, and even if you'll be there for a shorter while you could always join that pickup soccer game!


Heading out on an extended vacation? Remember every last detail with an Adventure Assist travel notebook.

Benefits of Slow Travel

 
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Our instinct when traveling is to maximize our time. More countries, more cities, more hotels, more adventures, more highlights. For some people, travel has become more about a badge of honor or an Instagram pic than an experience. Its even fairly common to hear the phrase "I've done France". Slow travel is the opposite of all of that.

Slow travel is picking a destination, maybe a cottage in the English countryside or an apartment in the heart of Tokyo, and staying for an extended period of time. You take the time to experience the rhythms of life in your new destination, go to the market, cook your food, read, maybe even do nothing on occasion.

Not to say that traveling slow is always better. This depends of course on the traveler, how much time in a destination and what you want to get out of your travel experience. But one thing is certain, more people should give traveling slow a shot. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of slow travel:

Better connect to your destination

If you've been here before then you know that we exist solely to help travelers better connect to their destinations. Traveling slow is a great way to do that. It enables you to meet more locals, have authentic experiences more often, and learn more about the history and culture of your destination. 

More eco-friendly

Consider the environmental cost of your trip. The fewer the travel destinations, the less your carbon footprint is. Additionally, a plane is more harmful to the environment than a train, a train is more harmful to the environment than a bike, etc. 

Cheaper

Transportation is often the most expensive part of traveling. Less travel means spending less money. You'll also often receive discounts for longer term stays on accommodation. 

Less stress

With slow travel comes more time, more relaxation, the opportunity for more of a routine and, without a doubt, less stress.

Spontaneity

Traveling slow will guarantee a very personalized and unique travel experience. Without the rush to notch off all the top sites, you will have more time to seek out other types of experiences. It allows you to veer away from your plan if you want, or simply let a unique experience play itself out without rushing to the next place.


Document your next travel experience with your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook! You can get yours on our SHOP page today.

How a Travel Notebook Better Connects You to Your Destination

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Here at Adventure Assist, our mission is to better connect travelers to their destinations. How are we doing that you ask? Well for starters, we launched the best travel notebook ever made. Yes, a physical notebook. I promise that we like apps and computers as much as anyone, but there really is just something special about writing things down by hand.

In fact, science is on our side. Writing things down has been proven to help people achieve their goals, learn more, remember more, be more organized and be more productive. Google it if you don't believe us. You access more of your brain when you write things down.

That brings us to our travel notebook — a hybrid between travel planner and travel journal. It was designed for travelers, by travelers, with only the most relevant and useful sections included. We want to make it easier for you to access all of the information that you need while traveling. Also, the whole back section is a journal to note your ambitions, the things you've learned on your journey, and everything else you want to remember once you're back home.

We want to help travelers better connect to their destinations. Did you learn any useful Spanish words from your trip throughout South America? How about the ancient history you learned about during your stay in Rome? Can you remember the name of your favorite restaurant that you went to in Paris? On your dream trip to Japan, did you make friends that you'd like to stay connected to? The Adventure Assist Travel Notebook helps you do all of this and more. Shop our selection and get your very own travel notebook today!


To get your own Adventure Assist Travel Notebook, head on over to our shop page.