So one of the big things that I try to do on my random travels and adventures is blend in.
There are a few ways that you can do this or attempt to do this.
1.) Be well-informed of the customs and styles of the place you are traveling to. Ex: many places that I’ve traveled to incorporate fast paced people walking on the left while more relaxed people walk on the right (mostly on stairways). It only makes sense but here in the states I never see this happening.
2.) Don’t be a peacock with what you wear or take with you. Look at what others are wearing and try to mimic them or find how you would comfortably dress among them.
3.) Eat the local food and drink the local drinks. You’re traveling, be open and try new things. I miss a burger and beer just like anybody else during my travels. But I’m not going to be ordering that in a new place. Remember, you’ll be back home soon enough.
4.) Step away from the tourist spots every now and again. I tend to have the most rewarding experiences when I tend to venture out just a little further from the hot spots. This is where the more local and real people tend to live. It makes a difference from looking through a window to stepping outside.
These four simple things alone can make a huge difference. You can always take it further and blend in more. Stay in non tourist areas. Learn some of the local language. If you can, stay for a long period of time.
I’ve had several occasions when tourists or other travelers have approached me asking for help on how to find a certain place or recommendations on things to do in the area. Sometimes I have some answers, but I’m exploring and new just like they are.
I once had a french woman get pissed off at me at a retail store. I wandered into a store away from the typical crowd. I greeted the woman in french and started looking around. A short while after, she began a conversation in french and when she realized I wasn’t fluent and from America, a rant and a look of disgust followed while she went storming away.
This just leads me to want to become fluent in French and other languages so I can further avoid these strange mishaps.
Hope these simple tips help. Don’t think peacock, think local.