By Donald Johannesson
There is a spreading trend (especially amongst Zoomers) in what is called Cultural Travel or simply Cultourism. It is a specific kind of travel and the exact opposite of what we’ve known as Tourism, which is visiting other countries and then spending the time comparing everything to home! With Cultourism all preconceived notions are left behind and one becomes totally immersed in the culture of the destination. It is all about the people, not the museums and attractions, and interacting with the locals while sharing their day-to-day lifestyles, how they approach daily occurrences, what and why they do things, and when and where they live their lives. The goal is to develop a knowledge and understanding of culture.
If you browse our Cultourism Pinterest Board you’ll see examples of this gratifying travel experience. At Lloyds Travel & Cruises, we applaud this modern way of thinking. It is a powerful means of bringing diverse cultures together while promoting peace and harmony around the world. Every journey starts with one step; every cross-culture friendship begins with one encounter of walking in others’ shoes. By approaching each cultures with a completely open mind, you begin seeing every facet of life in new ways, through the eyes and hearts of those who live differently than yourself, whether because of religious beliefs, differing values, varying economic factors, or from different evolutionary adaptations in order to survive in unique locations or environmental conditions.
Cultourism requires commitment. This is not a two-week jaunt, plan for a few months or even a year or two! Many people, having rationalized their intensions, actually arrange a full sabbatical from their own daily demands or use retirement as the perfect time to rejuvenate through new experiences! Many rent out their homes and then use the opportunity to stay in a foreign country by taking up related studies (language, cultural arts, or history) in order to easily secure longer-stay cultural or student visas, while truly becoming embedded in all aspects of the society they have adopted. In Andalucía study Spanish while learning the Flamenco; teach English as a second language while learning the arts of floral arranging and calligraphy in Kyoto; or even master Italian and Italian cuisine in Perugia.
With Cultourism the possibilities are limitless for absorbing your favourite culture while living as a resident of its country, not as a tourist in between excursions. You may just discover new exciting sides to a land you love … as well as new exciting sides to YOU!