Have you ever travelled to a country, seen a lot of things and experienced great stuff, though nevertheless you have the impression to never really got to know this beautiful country in its full potential? Well, that is not quite un common for a lot of backpacker who just do the usual, touristy stuff. Though let me tell you, if you just visit the must-visit places and spend time with people from your country or other backpackers you miss out on so much. If you intend to really get to know your destination, I urge you to meet and spend time with locals. And here are 8 reasons why having local friends can make your travels even better.
As I said just now, your aim when traveling should not be to just see the most popular sights and places. Neither should meeting people from your country or other backpackers be your main priority.
I myself try to not spend that much time around other Germans when traveling. In fact, it gets a bit annoying when I realize I’ve travelled to a country where there are just other Germans. I’m not traveling to meet them, I have plenty to meet at home. I travel to meet people from all over the world, preferable locals because this way you can truly experience what it is like to live in that country.
Though besides that spending time with local people as some more benefits and here they are.
1. Get to know the country
As I said, locals they grew up there. They know everything about it. Who else would be a better guide to take you around and show you all the amazing places.
2. See secret places
In addition, they mostly know the most beautiful and secret places of them all. If you want to be able to say you’ve seen something no other backpacker has ever seen before, get some local friends to show you their most favourite, secret place. You’d be surprised by what else there is you would never come about.
3. Get to know the culture
Besides the country, locals are the best resource to get to know more about the culture. Ask them questions, they’ll love to answer them. Also, spending time with them and their friends will give you deeper insights in how life there really is and what the values and habits are. Such things you would never get to know if you just spend time in hostels surrounded by other backpackers who have the same daily routine as you do.
4. Making your stay more convenient
Furthermore, knowing a few locals can make your travels so much more convenient. Imagine you somehow get into trouble. You get lost or approached by someone. Having a local friend can help you get out of there. Also in case you are a surfer, like I am, hanging with local people gives you a slight advantage in the water and the likelihood to get dropped in decreases by nearly 80%.
5. Learn a different language
If you’re keen on learning the mother tong of your destination, having local people to talk to is the best way. In addition, they’ll love to teach you some words and phrases. And maybe you can teach them back. Win, win I say.
6. Having friends every where
In a post, a few weeks back I’ve already mentioned that I love to have friends all over the world. Just knowing that there is someone I can meet up with or visit once I travel to that country is wonderful. Making local friends is the best way to build a network of people all over the world. You never know what it is good for.
7. Feel more at home
No one but locals can make you feel so at home in a country you’ve never been before. If you get to love them and the way they show you their country you will experience true connection to this place. It’ll become home, I assure you!
8. Feel like a local
Lastly, the longer you spend time with local people the more you yourself will feel like one. You’ll see after a few weeks you can be a tour guide, show around other backpackers and tell the true stories about that country.
You see, spending time with locals has many advantages. If you yourself have something to add to this list, please let me know in the comments. I’m keen to get to know more reasons why I should spend time with locals.
When traveling I really try to as many of them as possible. And so far, I’ve just been welcomed with love and hospitality no matter where I was.
That said, I want to urge you to find local friends during your next travels and then come back here, tell your experience to inspire more people to really get to know a country by spending time with local people.
In addition, please feel free to share this post in case you found it valuable.
Lastly, here are some handpicked posts which might be interesting for you. Have a look:
See you soon!