Originally Posted: Jul 15, 2016
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2016
There’s a reason why many people consider traveling one of the most experiential ways of living life. The “everything new, everything different” factor is a game changer and something that makes a great impact. While every travel expedition has a different take-away for different people, it all boils down to experiences to remember for a lifetime.
Millennial travelers—students—especially look for some extraordinary travel experiences that they can add to their lives. And given the kind of travel options available today, with all the budget packages, gap year travel opportunities, and study abroad options, there is no dearth for young travelers to achieve this dream.
However, it has been observed that when it actually comes down to living those experiences, many college students lose track of things to do and how to make the most of their time abroad. So, in order to clear out this conundrum and perpetuate the excitement of traveling abroad, here are some highly recommended travel experiences for college students to live their dreams as they study abroad.
Use local public transportation
One of the key representatives of a region is its public transport setup. It’s what the majority of the city is running on, and it will give you a good glimpse into the local lifestyle. Traveling by public transportation rather than a cab or taxi also gives you a better understanding of the local routes and lanes. Forget the Chevy back home—this is the real ride.
Get a hang of the native language to interact more
It feels good when you find someone who speaks your language, especially, when the other person is from a different soil altogether. The exact same thing happens when you speak to someone in their own local language in their country; it creates an immediate connection. It may take some effort to learn the local language, but you can always start with basic words, phrases, slang, etc. Try introducing yourself, greetings, asking for directions, and so on.
Don't just eat, but learn to cook a local delicacy
This is a special recommendation for the palate trippers. It is one thing to try a local favorite or a signature recipe of a local restaurant, but learning and trying your hands at cooking one is a different game altogether. This is one of the most creative ways to blend in with the local community. I mean, who doesn’t like food? You can always use this as a kind of experience to enhance your future career prospects as well (if you are looking to become a connoisseur).
Make memories with people and not just monuments
Traveling abroad doesn’t necessarily mean having a high-end GoPro gadget or a fancy DSLR around your neck. The real memories aren’t that of selfies clicked in front of monuments and heritage sites or the materialistic things you buy from the market. Memories are made from the moments you live with your friends and the local people. The laughs you share and the stories you learn make great souvenirs to take back home.
Find adventure in rebuilding a community
Ever thought of how you can do a lot more than sightsee when you study abroad? For example, something that involves giving back to society? Volunteering is a way to not only travel to a destination but bring about a change in the community by working for its development. This is a great option for an eventful gap year traveling abroad. You don’t just get to live with the locals, but also eat with them, learn about their lifestyle and daily challenges, and spend quality time working together: a perfect “living like a local” experience.
Cut off from the online world for a while
One thing that can prevent you from experiencing the best of a destination is your cell phone. (Sudden realization?!) In today's time, when digital life has taken over real life, the actual essence of traveling is fading away like the fragrance of a low-quality perfume. Why not, this one time, let your digital life rest for a while and, rather than updating your Facebook status, posting every picture, and checking in at every monument site you visit, simply let your mind capture the real beauty around you. You’ll soon realize that this was arguably the best experience you have had in a pretty long time.
Traveling abroad can leave you with some really astonishing experiences, but only if done in the right manner and in a proper fashion. I hope this information comes in handy and helps you make the optimum utilization of your time on your next trip abroad. Keep traveling!