Want to know why travelers are craving local experiences over visiting the classic tourist hot spots? This article will explore a range of reasons why travelers are seeking local experiences and what they want from their trip.
Travelers crave local experiences because they want an authentic and transformational experience, to be immersed in a different culture, to be active and travel sustainably, and to take time for self-discovery and their own well-being.
Travelers want to have local experiences where they can have a transformative experience as well as immerse themselves in a different culture and way of being and perceiving the world. Find out five ways to have a local experience and the reason behind the intention to have them.
5 Reasons Travelers Crave Local Experiences
Gone are the days when people wanted to travel and be at the most popular tourist attraction whilst staying in their luxury hotel suite. Nowadays, more and more people want to travel and be immersed in the local culture and way of being.
Let’s take a look at the main reasons why travelers crave local experiences.
1. To Have An Authentic Experience
Travelers want to be one with the community and not stand out as a foreigner, but instead, to live like and learn from the local people. They want to know what it is truly like to live in the community and what their customs and ways of being are like.
Travelers want an authentic experience, not one that is solely created to attract tourists, but instead to be around an honest representation of the way the locals live life and how the country is beyond its marketing and advertising is seen online or on tv.
They want to go beyond areas that have been commercialized and have an authentic and original experience that perhaps not many people experience when they travel for a holiday.
2. To Be Immersed In The Local Culture
A traveler wants to know what the locals do on a day-to-day basis, how they work, what they eat, and what their religious or spiritual beliefs are. This can be very important for travelers, especially if you come from the western world and are traveling to the east. Everything can be so different, and it is that which a person seeks to experience.
3. To Take Time For Self-Discovery And Wellbeing
Travelers want to travel and be engaged with local experiences so they can discover more of who they are. Often when we grow up in a certain country, holding certain beliefs and surrounded by certain ways of living, we can find ourselves being a product of our environment.
Therefore, people can often feel lost or like they do not know who they are or even what they want. By being in a new country and surrounded by new people and cultures, we can discover what resonates with us, what we like or dislike, and come to know what we truly believe in and who we are as we break out of our comfort zone.
We can delve into spiritual or religious practices that the local culture has been involved in for centuries and honor our mind, body, and spirit. We begin to seek balance and harmony within us and care about our overall well-being.
Traveling and having local experiences can teach us that our well-being is not all about having lots of money or what we do for a job, or how long we can relax by a pool with a cocktail. Instead, well-being is about how we are on a holistic level, how we as a unique human belong to a community, and, in the larger picture, how we live and be in harmony within the world.
4. They Want To Be Active Travelers
When traveling and wanting to remain immersed in the local culture, you will most likely want to avoid using vehicles and instead walk on foot to soak up all the details of the local culture. You want to live like them and perhaps walk the long distances that they do or walk up mountains to sacred sites like they do at certain times of the year.
By doing this, you naturally stay active and there may be certain activities that you can take part in, such as dancing that the locals may do often. You can also do more common activities to stay active while you travel. This can include hiking, backpacking, cycling, trekking, kayaking, rafting, mountain climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, caving, and camping.
5. They Want To Travel Sustainably
Travelers not only crave local experiences, but they also care about how they affect the surrounding place. They care about giving money back to the local community and seeing the people thrive and live well. They care about how they treat the people and the environment and do so with utmost respect and care.
People want to reduce their carbon footprint and make the community that they are in a better place than it was before they got there. Travelers who seek local experiences may also want to help out the locals in some way, offer some free work or support in exchange for having the opportunity to live and be surrounded by their way of life.
How Do Local Experiences Provide Transformation
Travelers find that they seek to have local experiences because it provides transformation. Transformation for them on a personal level but also can transform those that they meet and interact with.
The table below shows data obtained from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) which concluded that people want transformation from their travels and it is a prime motivation factor for travel. A transformational experience is one that leaves a lasting change or impression and travelers having local experiences will definitely achieve that, which is why many seek it.
|Motivation For Travel
|Number of votes
|Nature And Discovery
|Fun And Thrills
To define the terms in the table above, here are some words and statements that correlate to them. We can see that these headings encompass a few different areas and all are of benefit to travelers as they travel and have local experiences.
- Personal Growth And Challenge
- Accomplishment And Achievement
- Gratitude And Mindfulness
- Broadened Perspective
- Expanded Horizons
- Cultural Understanding
- New Skills, Knowledge And Insight
- New Experiences
- Enriching Overall Experience
Nature And Discovery
- Beauty Of Nature
- Beautiful Scenery
- Escape And Renewal
- Clear Mind
- Peace And Relaxation
Fun And Thrills
- Adventure Rush
- Feel Alive
- Learn About Others
- Meeting New People
- Experiences To Remember
- Unexpected Experiences
- Going Somewhere Others Don’t
- Feeling Of Accomplishment
From this, we can see that having local experiences can tick many of these boxes. Although we may travel for a sole reason, we may find that we get so much more from it. Local experiences offer us way more depth in terms of the deeper reasoning behind why we want to pack our bags and head off to a place that has a totally different way of life compared to what any mainstream tourist resort could provide us.
We all are different, but more and more of us want to travel, not as a reward for our work all year long, but to find some deeper meaning in life. We want to go beyond our fixed point of view and welcome new insights.
We become less stubborn and no longer want to stay in our comfort zone as we open to new but ancient ways of life that exist all around the globe today.
We all want to transform on some level of our being, and that requires a willingness to change or explore new paths that we haven’t gone down before. Traveling to have local experiences is a key way to open our eyes to the vast amount of potential and possibilities that exist within us and within life so that we can decide how we want to live moving forward.
5 Ways To Have Local Experiences
Here are five ways you can have a local experience no matter where you may be traveling in the world. You may do one of these or all of these depending on how dedicated you are to experience what it is like to exist in the local community.
1. Eat The Local Food
Enjoy the traditional cuisine and ancient ways of cooking food. Eat mindfully and take in the smells, textures, and flavors that this part of the world is unique in with their dishes. You can enjoy the street food in the community or even eat a meal at a local home if you are lucky enough to be welcomed in.
2. Go Beyond The City
Cities can be great, but they can often be unauthentic and commercialized. Seek out the small towns or villages to get a true experience of the local culture and traditions. You may explore shops, the environment, talk to people and so much more.
3. Buy Things From The Locals
Whether it is a souvenir or a craft from a local artisan, buy from them. Listen to the stories behind its creation and its meaning. In addition, it helps the locals financially so they can thrive.
4. Stay With Someone In The Community
A hotel can be nice to stay in, but staying with one of the locals will give you an authentic and first-hand experience of how someone truly lives. You will be able to discover what they value, their beliefs, their attitude, and what a typical day-to-day life is like for them. This experience will be invaluable if you are seeking local experience.
5. Don’t Be In A Rush To Get Anywhere
When you are traveling, really take your time wherever you are. Notice the small details. Take in the atmosphere and be present with your surroundings. Give yourself plenty of time in a city instead of rushing to the next place. Travel slowly and consciously.
There are more things you can do to have a local experience, and it is up to you to be creative and put yourself out of your comfort zone. Trust your intuition and be guided rather than having a strict itinerary that you must follow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Local Experience?
The local experience is all about being amongst the local people, activities, products, and culture. You want to know how people live and what their culture is all about. You want to get away from the mainstream tourist sites and instead be immersed in the local way of life.
What Is Local Culture?
Local culture is the customs, behaviors, and beliefs that exist in a community. It can affect their way of living and being in the world, such as how they treat others, how they dress, what they eat, and so much more.
Why Is Traveling Meaningful?
Traveling is meaningful because of the experiences we can have and the things we can see and learn that go beyond that which we are used to. We can get out of our comfort zone and explore different places and meet new people that have so much to share with us.
Overall, people travel to have local experiences in order to have an authentic and transformational time. They no longer want the classic trip just to see the most popular attractions or to relax poolside. They want a change in culture and way of life.
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