How To Fit In When Visiting A Foreign Country

While traveling abroad, many feel a strong urge to conform with locals and vanish into the crowd.  Not wanting to stand out as false in a group of French folk, for example, they lean hard into trying not to be intrusive. For some people this works, however if you’re not careful, it can come across as mockery.

Here are the top ways to fit in when you’re visiting a foreign country 😉

Avoid Standing Out as the Tourist 

Nobody wants to be an obvious tourist.  Tourists get marked as easy targets for pickpocketing; in some areas, they get charged more by merchants who know they can get away with it, and many locals avoid friendships and conversations with tourists. There’s no way to avoid it if you’re a different race than the locals, but dressing more casually and attempting to hide the usual tourist apparel can help.

Be Flexible With Your Plans

What plans do you have set up?  If you want to fit in, be open to changing those plans if something more interesting comes along.  Some excursions and exhibits are only allowed by those who are from the area.  This means that if you do a good enough job at befriending locals and getting to know the site, you may have more options for what to do during your visit.

Study Up Before You Visit

Get to know the local culture and type of people before you travel.  This allows you to be prepared and avoid any shock at sudden changes.  For instance, when you’re shopping around for Aurora apartments, shop around for which cities in your target country will be most open to you and which you can most easily get to know.  There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know something once you get there, but you should learn most general things before you arrive.

Make Friends With Locals

The best way to fit in is to become part of the crowd!  Please get to know the locals, and make friends with them.  Although this can be more difficult if there’s a language barrier, it’s not impossible!  Instead, work through the discomfort and find a happy middle ground where you can get along and be friendly.  If there’s too large of a language barrier, find someone who speaks both languages and become friends with them first.  They can help you translate and get to know the country better.

Be Careful Not to Copy or Mock

There’s a fine line between working to fit in and accidentally mocking entire countries of people.  Don’t be the second type of person!  To avoid upsetting or offending anyone, try not to copy accents or mannerisms.  If someone invites you to enjoy an activity with them, or you find other ways to enjoy the culture, go for it!  It’s just not in good taste to attempt to copy the people themselves.  If you lean too hard into trying to pronounce the words or fit cliches over, you may end up looking like a caricature instead of like a visitor or friend.

What other tips would you recommend?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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