Long term traveling may get you exhausted, or depressed, or it may make you just feel like you need a home for a while, or you simple found a corner in this world which you can make it home for a while, or at least to try it to see how how will it be to make that favourite place your home.
Even if you have a big list on things to do in your trip, you don’t have to feel guilty when you fell like you want to stay longer in a place, but stay and enjoy it. In the same time you may think seriously in how many places you would like to stay longer because if you stay a lot of time in many places, you may not do what you wanted to, which is great as well, as long as you don’t regret it later.
Now you are for a longer time in a place which you loved and decided to stay more time and submerge in the local life. There are several ways to do it and below some recommendations (the order is random).
- Couchsurfing – there is no better way to discover the culture than living with a local. But your host may not be able to host you for too long, but I’m sure by the time you leave their couch you’ll be having friends and you can be independent in the new place you call it home.
- Rent a place(room) in a shared flat. If you are in a place for longer it may be a good idea to have your own place, enjoy some privacy, get a chicken to cook which will eventually save you some money and the price of your monthly expensive may be lower by renting a flat then staying in a hostel. I believe the best is to share the place with other people – locals or foreigners, they will all become your close friends in that place.
- Make local friends. As a foreigner it usually easy to start a conversation with the locals, especially if you talk the language. Just take advantage of any conversation may rise up: the reception guy, the girl waiting in the same queue as you, the lady who does yoga in the same part of the part as you, everybody around you.
- Attend local groups, meet the other expats. In the technology era this is really easy to find – just search on Facebook expat group in your place or even easier search on Facebook the name of your place and it will show you lots of options.
Let’s say you live in Bogota and you search on Facebook Bogota then select Groups. It will show you lots of options – Expat Events Bogota, Expat, people traveling to Bogota Colombia.
- Attend the local meetups. Meetup.com is definitely one of the best way to get to know people. Almost every place you go now it has several meetup options. They may not be what you are good of or in your areas of interests, but give them a try, you never know if you discover a new ability. To give you an example: when I was living in Lima I tried all the meetup group meeting and one of them was a poetry group. I’m not a poet and I believe I don’t have any track of artistic talent, but it turned to be that I liked the poetry group from Lima because just for 2 hours week they made me think in different patterns, disconnecting me from my entire logic system. In one meeting I even made a poem which it got published in a local magazine. You can read the poem on Anca’s personal blog or on the magazine website.
- Learn something new – learn to dance salsa, tango, Spanish, French, Chinese, surf or anything else may be popular in the place you stay. Learning a new skill is like killing two birds with one stone: you make new friends and you extend you knowledge, your comfort zone and you gain an asset for life which you will can use any time after.
- Play team games. You may not be good at any special things, but common everybody plays football, volleyball, you name it.
- Get a job. Volunteer or get a paid job. Working is by far one of the best way to submerge in the local culture because you see people every day, you see the good and the bad of the culture, you are very connected with others. You may also play in a band or just singing in bars/restaurants if you know to play an instrument or you have a great voice.
These are only some examples of how you can live like a local while you travel around the world and you find a place you love and decide to stay for longer. There are many other ways to do it and please feel free to share your story of living like a local while traveling more.
Enjoy living like a local while traveling more around the world.