Sometimes people feel like they need to travel far to experience another culture. But culture is all around us, especially in the United States.
You don’t have to travel far to experience culture. Seriously, skip the jet lag and dive into culture in your hometown (there’s plenty of it)! Save yourself major $$$ and exhaustion on a long haul flight with our top 5 ways to experience culture right where you are.
Go To An Ethnic Restaurant
Admit it, food is the first thing you think about when you travel, isn’t it? Of course, the variety and authenticity of the restaurant all depend on what area you’re in the USA. if you’re in or near a metropolitan area, finding ethnic restaurant options will be a lot easier. For example, in Chicago, there’s a lot of variety of restaurants. Whether you’re looking for Mediterranean, Indian, Japanese, Ethiopian, or Mexican, you’ll find it! Getting hungry, yet?
Take A Cooking Class
Our mind is still on food, can you tell? Seriously, since food is a BIG part of culture, here’s another way to experience it. Look to see if there are ethnic cooking classes available in your city and learn to make a meal. You’ll learn a lot about the culture through the teacher and you’ll get to get hands-on experience. You’ll be able to find cooking classes everywhere. For example, the Sur La Table in New York City offers a variety of classes such as Date Night: Passport to Thailand, Spring Pasta Workshop, and Amazing Mediterranean Cooking. There are also classes available in multiple US cities, so check your local listings!
Cultural Events & Festivals
Cultural events & festivals are a great way to explore a different culture. Check your city calendar this spring + summer and pick an event to attend. Is there an African music fest happening? How about a German beer fest? A quick google search of “cultural events” + your city will give a ton of events and activities that you can participate in. You can also check your local library for events. If your city has a Cultural Center, check to see what events they have going on! Grab a friend and head to a local cultural event. You’ll learn a ton and have a blast!
Visit Ethnic Neighborhoods
Depending on where you live, there are plenty of US cities that have established cultural areas such as Chinatown. If you live in New York, head to Little Poland in Greenpoint, Brooklyn or Koreatown in West 32nd Street, Manhattan. If you’re in Chicago, head to Devon Avenue (Indian food and shopping), Taylor Street (Little Italy), or Argyle Street (Vietnamese shops, food, and boba tea). Explore the ethnic neighborhoods in your city. You’ll be surprised by what you discover!
Learn A New Language
Learning a new language will not only allow you to learn about another culture, but it’ll also give you a unique activity to add to your weekly schedule. Spanish is the second most common language spoken within the US and if you don’t know how to speak it, maybe it’s time to learn! But if you want to learn something else (French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, etc), go for it! Get your friends, co-workers or significant other to go with you and you can practice together. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to start!
Culture is all around us and we don’t need to fly somewhere far to experience it. Appreciate what’s already in your backyard and be open minded. The US is so diverse, you can literally experience 5 different cultures in one day if you wanted to!
Not in an area where there isn’t enough diversity? No prob! Check out our road trips away from home guide and experience culture on a quick getaway. And if you’re looking for cheap domestic flights, we got you!
How do you experience culture within your hometown? Share with us in the comments!