The old saying of how “no man is an island” is something a lot of people worldwide know about. However, it can sometimes feel like it when you are in a foreign country. Your dress code, mannerisms, and timing can differentiate you from the locals, which can make it harder to blend in. But with some strategic adjustments and a little research, you can find ways to not stick out like a sore thumb in a foreign country. Here’s how.
Dress the part
You’ll need to look like everyone else if you want to blend in. Before you start packing for the trip, go online and do some research on the current styles and dress norms of the local population. Street-style blogs are a good place to start. For instance, if modesty is prized above all else in the foreign country, don’t wear your shorts.
Research on local customs
There is no faster way to show you’re a foreigner and not one of the people than by making a cultural blunder you could’ve easily avoided if you did a little research on your destination’s local customs. Not only can greetings, hand gestures and general body language help keep you from offending the locals, but it’s also a great window to help you get into the local’s cultures.
Adjusting your volume
If you’re generally a loud person, you might want to turn it down a notch when in a foreign land. Lowering your volume when talking to the locals will allow you to blend in better and limit other people from hearing you speak in a foreign language. Most countries don’t have loud locals, but some do. Gauge the scene and try to react accordingly.
Avoid tourist gear
Yes, being prepared is always a good thing. However, that doesn’t mean you have to walk around everywhere with a fanny pack and a water-bottle holster. If you want to blend in, thoroughly examine all your go-to travel items and try and try and eliminate all the things that scream “tourist.” Travel gear has advanced leaps and bounds these days and there are so many ways you can carry what you need without having to look like a backcountry hiker.
You’re travelling because you want to embrace new things, right? You’ll be able to let the new world in when you allow yourself to open to the unfamiliar. This will help make it easier for you to blend in.
Find where the locals hang
Find out where the locals like to hang out and visit those places. Online review sites are a great way to find these joints, You can ask the people working at the shops, restaurants, and cafes near you what they do once they get off work to have an idea of where to look.
Eat like the natives
Another great way to blend in is to eat the local cuisines. Before you travel, find a way to try out what you’re most likely going to find in your destination and see what you can hold down. Paper and online guidebooks normally cover all the basics.
Avoid being overprotective
Don’t always clutch your belongings tight when out in public. This is a sure way of showing people that you’re not from around there. A good way to avoid this is by not carrying your valuables when you’re out sightseeing.
All in all, when you want to blend in as a traveller in a foreign country, observe what the people around you are doing and try to mimic what they’re doing. This is by far the best way not to look too much like a tourist. Hopefully, now you’re ready to enjoy your trip like the locals.