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Cultural Travel: Break Through the Barriers
Some types of travel and some travel destinations throw us into interaction with the local population. Others expressly keep us away. As a tourist planning a visit you can ask yourself: Is it a holiday I seek or an experience?
Some resorts, for example, segregate themselves from local areas and even within the resort they segregate areas that either staff or guests are allowed to use. An artificial environment is created to give guests the comforts they seek in an “escape” as a vacation. And it truly is an escape from reality and the real surroundings. The type of trip you choose depends your intentions and your sense of adventure.
As adventure travelers, who seek out cultural experiences, we can either choose to travel independently or we make the most of those package holiday destinations. We can choose accommodation, restaurants and activities that put us in touch with the daily life of locals, or we can choose to go beyond the resort walls into the streets or visit islands not owned by the resorts.
Off on a fishing trip with friends, tourist and Maldivian. Ironic “tourist” t-shirt makes it absolutely clear who the tourist is.
Some destinations are known for holidays rather than travel experiences, but inspired travelers seem to always find a way to make things interesting and get off the beaten track. Take the Maldives for example. It’s known as a luxury destination but beyond the private resort islands – surprise, surprise – the locals don’t wear hotel uniforms.
Local islands have daily routines, food, music and handicraft much different from the styles of the resorts. And, Maldivians have started to cater accommodation to tourists. After a change in regulation, there are now guesthouse accommodation options on these islands that allow travelers to stay among the local population, the fisherman, businessmen, surfers, women and school children (to name a few) that make up the Maldivian population.
How do you break through the barriers and immerse yourself in culture? Comments welcomed below. This is just one example but there are many more holiday destinations that can offer traveling experiences.