There’s always a backpacker route when travelling, and it’s pretty hard not to fall into it. Sometimes it’s nice to follow it though, you meet some amazing people and then you get to travel with each other for a bit.
While it’s all beautiful in the beginning it ends up being a trap, because everywhere you go it ends up being so tourist driven you wonder why you even came to the city in the first place. Getting off the beaten track can be quite scary, but at the same time if can be so liberating.
Sometimes meeting locals isn’t easy. You have to break the barrier, and try to communicate with the locals. This is where Couchsurfing comes into play. You get to meet locals, sometimes they end up living in less touristy areas and in most cases you end up being really good friends after. The hosts are more than happy to open their doors to you and show you their world. Even if you can’t stay with them, many are willing to just hang out.
Stay in Homestays
Try to get out of staying in hostels and support the locals by staying in a homestay. There are many homestays around, although a lot of them are not advertised online. You’ll just have to wander around the city and find one that you enjoy. They’ll mostly be owned by a family and the accommodation ends up feeling very homely. They even have family dinners and give you some really decent tips of the area. Some also come with free bicycle rentals.
Venture out to quieter places
This can be easier said than done, but most of the beautiful places are the ones that you stumbled upon by accident. So if you’re brave enough, do some research and try and find a place in the country that has no tourists. Take a bus there and just explore the area. If you can rent a scooter,bike or car even better. People from out of the cities are more often more accommodating and nicer. They are more than willing to help you out and invite you to stay with them or invite you over for dinner out of kindness.
Depending on what you sector you decide to volunteer in make sure it’s for a good cause. Volunteering can either be good or bad as there are many scams around volunteering so make sure you research the NGOs and the work that they are doing for the community. Once you have done this, then you can immerse yourself within the culture. Volunteering can be a great way to meet locals and see a different side to the country. You’ll be able to stand still for a little bit and get to know how the locals live and live it with them whilst also trying to give back. Websites like Workaway or Helpx are also perfect for this. Another way to find volunteering job would be to just go into a town and just ask hostels and homestays if they need anyone for work in exchange for free accommodation and meals.
Listen to recommendations from other travellers
When you’re travelling you’ll meet some pretty cool travellers. Almost always you will eventually meet that one that went off the beaten track. Once you find this majestic beauty of a beast follow their words.