Smarter Travels: Five Incredible Ways to Blend In When Traveling
“The day we stop exploring is the day we commit ourselves to live in a stagnant world, devoid of curiosity, empty of dreams.” –Neil Degrasse Tyson
Much of what goes into traveling has something to do more than just seeing the touristy spots and sights; it is immersing yourself in a totally foreign culture and consequently seeing how the other side of the world lives. From this perspective, you get an entirely new feel of the place you are visiting which makes the experience all the more authentic and distinct.
In this regard, it is best to approach the endeavor by blending with them. While there can be as much benefit to bringing as much to the travel game as you hope to take away (seeing as local folks are just as interested in you as you are in them), the benefits of blending into a foreign culture should not be ignored. Indeed, there are certain merits in blending into a foreign culture that you should not overlook nor underestimate. Furthermore, blending in gives you an insider’s look at their culture–a feat that would be denied to other outsiders, more often than not.
So, if you have been planning on globetrotting and doing something different other than engaging in the ritualistic Makati nightlife, you might as well start blending like the locals. Here are some of the ways to do that:
1.) Wear muted clothes
When traveling, you ought to be a little meticulous in picking out the sartorial items you wear. After all, if you wish to blend in, you should ensure that your clothes do not stand out. In this regard, make them your first line of defense. Choose subtle, muted and simple clothing that do not call too much attention to yourself. Avoid looking too touristy if you wish to blend in so it would be harder to pick you out from the crowd.
2.) Pack clothes you can wear anywhere
Blending in means garbing yourself in clothes that you can wear anywhere from visiting the local marketplace to dining at the best restaurant in the city. Versatility is key which means your clothes should neither be flashy nor trashy. Select a set of clothes that would enable you to blend in a variety of situations. With this in mind, steer clear from clothes specifically designed for traveling such as cargo pants or shorts as they are strong touristy indicators.
3.) Do not go nuts with the camera
An excellent way to immortalize your excursion and make lasting memories is to take as many photos as you want. After all, snapping as many photos as you wish is only natural and inevitable in a trip. However, you may want to tone the shutterbug in you a bit if you wish to blend in. One of the greatest indicators of being a tourist is a camera hanging from your neck. More importantly, blithely displaying it for everyone to see makes you an easy target for pickpockets, thieves or worse, muggers. Similarly, you might want to leave other tourist accouterments such as fanny packs and guidebooks in the hotel. If you wish to bring them, keep them under wraps if you want to keep a low profile.
4.) Leave the white shoes
While they are commonly worn anywhere where you are from, in some countries white shoes are reserved solely for running or working out. In this regard, you would be immediately identified as an outsider seeing as white shoes are not typically worn in any sort of public situation. It might be that white shoes tend to stand out and attract attention which precisely makes it the antithesis of blending in. Avoid wearing them when traveling.
5.) Buy clothes at your destination
If you have budget set aside for travel clothes, opt to buy clothes at your destination instead of preparing for it in your place of departure. However, be mindful of where you buy your clothes and purchase clothes where the locals do instead of going straight to the souvenir shack.
Learn to blend in with the locals and try not to attract too much attention to yourself. You will find that you will have a more rewarding travel experience in doing so. Apart from that, blending in also keeps you safe and mitigates the risk of being robbed. So choose to blend it and start assimilating the foreign environment for a more authentic and distinct travel experience.