Curiously, the elements that initially attract you to adventure travel may not solely be the elements that keep you coming back. The real story is that adventure travel is a holistic experience, with numerous factors contributing to your continued enjoyment.
An adventure simply wouldn’t be complete without the cultural aspect. To visit a city or town is to visit with the people who reside there. This is the only way to truly immerse yourself in your destination. With the use of effective communication skills, this opens the doors to education, friendship, laughter and a growing global community.
When I think of all the countries I’ve visited, it’s no coincidence that the places I most want to return to are the ones where I bonded with the locals. Adventure travel can facilitate these cultural connections in many ways.
1 » Travel with local guides
A quality adventure guide is the backbone of any successful adventure tour. Local guides have the inside scoop on your destination. They can show you the behind the scenes vantage point we all desire, but only some of us are lucky enough to see. By leveraging their connection to the local life, they get you invited into homes, schools, public games, concerts and events. On occasion, BikeHike clients have even been invited to local weddings!
2 » Embrace the homestay experience
Homestays are a special opportunity you should never pass up. By actually living with local families, you are exposed to authentic local conversation, cuisine, and lifestyle. This helps to uncover all the little cultural differences that would otherwise go overlooked.
3 » Stay at locally run hotels
By staying at locally run hotels, you will stay in touch with the people. Local hotels are often small characterful establishments dripping with local flair. They house friendly staff and conduct operations in accordance to the lifestyle of the country. After all, when in Rome…
4 » Tour the community in difference ways
Since adventure travel is an activity based travel style, it is common to fuse cultural interactions within the daily activities. Biking and hiking from village to village is a great way to see the country’s natural beauty, while at the same time meeting locals along the way. Western travellers are not common visitors to many of the villages you enter. Often times, they are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them.
5 » Head to the market
Market environments differ throughout the world. The colours, the smells, the speed, the sounds – they all combine to form the unique market experience. Beyond these elements reside the people – patrons and merchants. Joining in on the browsing, bartering, and dialogue is where the fun begins. I suppose the feeling of “being another face in the crowd” is really dependent on the crowd!