Immersive Travel – The Way Forward!
Soak some sun
Savour Local food
Engage in New Experiences
Meet some locals, understand traditions
Learn a new form of provincial art
Stroll around aimlessly in the by lanes of a new town
Welcome to the world of slow and immersive travel also known as experiential travel. A form of tourism wherein the traveller’s focus is on experiencing the destination by meaningfully engaging in its history, folklore, local traditions, eating home-cooked regional fare, and using local modes of transport. Engaging in such kinds of travels can be amazingly transformative.
As a traveller and a curator, how would I differentiate between classic travel and immersive travel?
While on a classic travel plan you get to view a picture-postcard version of a destination whereas, in an engaging travel plan you soak in the vibe, culture, ethos and cuisines of a certain destination. Classic travel works well if you have a lesser number of days and you want to experience the city swiftly, but if time does permit then immersive is the way to go! We travel to discover – New Places & New Experiences, isn’t that so?
Travel, just like Life for me is gratifying more so when I am able to meet new people, learn about cultures, and experience unique things. And that is how I learn and evolve and hence my blogs and podcast which relates everything from Travels to Life and v.v.
Let us dive into favours of immersive travel.
It will open your mind to new ideas, Broaden your horizons, You may even find a new passion, you make new friends around the globe or may I say find your soulmate too!
In my personal opinion, it becomes easier to handle relationships and people. Cos you are actually relating your experiences and learnings to your relations and situations…. Trust me! It definitely helps!
It works really well to revel in a single destination for a longer duration rather than doing a rush rush tour and covering the touchpoints and ticking things off your bucket list!
Instead, why not travel slow. Stay with a local, Savor a home-cooked local meal, not only do you get to experience the local fare, you also get to make some great local friends, enjoy one activity at a time, aimlessly meandering on the streets, soaking in the vibe. There’s no better way to connect with the local culture than by fully participating in it.
Immersive travel is simple, it is as simple as you want it to be. An aimless walk in a new city can teach you much more than a guided bus tour. You never know what will happen when you allow yourself to be consumed by a new place, but you do know it will be memorable as hell!
Slow travel not only is a vacation, a vacation for your senses and soul. You are not on a marathon to tick every bucket list activity and city. You are travelling for an experience. An experience that will enrich you, which is meaningful and may I add economical!
Cultural exchange is as simple as chatting up with a cabbie who gives insider information on some amazing places that locals go to, or some great events which tourists may not know about, the exchange is in the conversations with a local even if it with someone on the train with you.
Classroom learning of a language is way different from picking sentences from a local, they are the real deal. It is as easy as ordering coffee in the local lingo, or checking with the concierge on simple sentences.
Oh and of course, One of the easiest ways to explore local stuff is via food. It is always enriching to do a bit of research on the local culture and history via its cuisine. Make a bucket list of dishes to try, visit a local market, or take a cooking lesson! Indulge those taste buds in some new delicacies
Enjoy learning new stuff, you can consider enrolling in dance lessons, a cooking class, an artwork shop and other forms of interactive education to better understand the creative values of local culture in a fun way and also support small local businesses!
Every city/country across the globe host some attractive and engaging festivals highlighting niche interests. They can vary from music, dance, film, food, etc. Festivals are also a great space to connect with locals who most likely be more pally and bond over shared interests.
Immersive travel is challenging. And when we challenge ourselves, we’re able to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, and as a result, we evolve! Immersive travel also means, being impromptu, or not always knowing which direction to go, how to order a meal due to a language barrier or how to communicate with a cabbie who doesn’t speak a common language. We must look within ourselves to find the strength and the courage to face these unfamiliar challenges that would be so simple on home ground.
When we venture out, with an open mind and aren’t stressed about getting from one thing to the next and ticking off the lists, it slows things down and allows us to be in the moment and enjoy the present.
When we put aside the mundane tasks of our daily lives, we realize how much we take for granted. It’s not easy to order food when you don’t know what it’s called or how to say it. By ditching our comfort zone we experience challenges we usually wouldn’t come across at home, that is when we learn and we grow. And when we’re surrounded by the beauty and thrill of exploring a foreign place, those challenges are clearly worth it.
You might just get inspired or learn more about yourself! Who knows?