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No matter your motivation for travel, it is always important to remember to travel better with intent and purpose. What do I mean by this?

Being able to integrate into a different unfamiliar world will allow you to interact with the local culture and realize a new version of yourself you may never have even known was there. You don’t have to stick to a strict itinerary to get the most out of your travel, and it is often in the off-the-beaten-path experience that we end up learning more than we could imagine, both about ourselves and our surroundings. If you stay in your comfort zone while you roam, will you truly connect with your environment – probably not. So here is some advice for maximizing your time abroad and giving in to curiosity.

Tips to Travel Better

First of all, don’t be afraid to try local food and drink! This will help you to truly escape your boundaries and experience the appetite of the locals. This ranges from restaurants to local markets. It might be scary to try something you’ve never even heard of before, but you might find that a little spark of adventure can make lifelong memories and experiences you’ll never forget, so have an open mind.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Muhammed Ali

What’s next? Read a book or watch a documentary about where you are going! In learning about the culture of where you are going, you’ll have better knowledge about the community, its people, and what it has to offer. Learning about a destination’s history can also increase your appreciation for it while you’re actually submerged in it yourself.

Next, learn some of the local lingo! You might surprise someone by even just knowing how to say hello, goodbye, or thank you. Learning some of the basic language of where you are going fosters a feeling of mutual respect between you and the people.  Having a better understanding of culture and a little bit of insight can go a long way.

Finally, contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to be a tourist! A lot of the time, countries depend on tourism as their main source of revenue. While taking your own rugged adventures, it is also important to remember that tourist type experiences provide jobs and capital for many communities. Supporting local tourist businesses can be as simple as booking a local tour or eating at places whose profits go back into the community.

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph waldo emerson