There's more to a country than its tourist destinations, pop culture events, and exotic dining spots. If you've visited popular holiday destinations like Japan and Australia before, your second visit warrants a different experience entirely. This is especially true if you're interested in expanding your social network and exploring a foreign country's heart and culture.
Whether you're traveling with friends, family, or by yourself, there are activities you can add to your itinerary that will make your holidays more meaningful.
Support a Cause
You'll be surprised at how welcoming non-profit organizations are to foreign individuals. Campaigns against animal cruelty, for example, benefit from as much exposure as they can get. There are volunteers ready to educate you on legalized cruelty to farm animals and similar issues. You may also consider visiting a local shelter to interact with dogs. Volunteer to feed them or walk with them outside because these are kindnesses that mean a lot to them.
If you're more inclined towards saving the environment, there's also no shortage of cleanup efforts you can participate in. These activities usually last for an entire morning to an entire day, but don't feel obliged to commit time you don't have. What's important is gaining awareness about other countries' issues with serious matters like animal cruelty and environmental pollution. Whatever effort you put into making the world a better place, may it be through donating or volunteering your time, you'll surely go home with a satisfying sense of fulfillment.
Signing up for piano lessons during a month-long trip allows you to learn a new skill while abroad and form valuable connections. There's nothing like forming friendships with people who share your interest to guarantee a good time.
Music and other forms of art are particularly conducive to establishing healthy relationships. Art in any form or degree relieves stress, improves one's self-esteem, and benefits the mind and body in many other ways. Above all, participating in classes can enlighten you on how other countries view art, culture, and discipline. There's a difference in how each country perceives and teaches dance, music, and painting, no matter how minuscule it may be. You'll not only earn the benefit of having a sure stress-reliever if ever you feel homesick–you'll also go home with a new skill under your belt that comes with a certification.
Carry a Single Luggage
Fashion-lovers who need an excuse to go shopping will find one if they decide to carry only a single suitcase on their holiday trip. Bring only a limited amount of essentials for your travel and prepare to purchase the rest of your needs in your holiday destination. Skip the department stores and international products. This endeavor should lead you to shops that sell locally-made goods. It's a simple way to support local businesses and explore handicrafts and designs that you won't see anywhere else in the world.
For a more productive shopping spree, research the stores beforehand. Listing the items you'll need for your holiday like scarves, handkerchiefs, shoes, shirts, and a few luxuries can keep you from going over your budget. Traveling this way will earn you a wardrobe consisting of items that reflect different cultures, which serves as the best memorabilia for your adventures.
Diversify Your Itinerary
Traveling shouldn't all be about the sights and the souvenirs. Each country has its own language, culture, and affairs worth participating in one way or another. Diversify your itinerary to include meaningful activities, from joining campaigns to supporting local handicrafts, and you'll leave with a better understanding of the world.