Travelers willing to dedicate more time to experiencing local cultures, interacting with locals, and imitating the day-to-day schedules of locals are taking the leap toward experiential travel. Also known as slow travel, India’s endless cultural marvels and tucked-away villages make for a phenomenal country to kickstart your experiential travel adventures.
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Opting for understanding the process of sourcing ingredients and cooking local gastronomical delights, practising traditional handcrafting methods, and living through barter systems can make for a fulfilling travel expedition.
The dynamics of experiential travel come with a transformative approach that you begin to appreciate once you find joy in immersing in the lifestyles of people unlike you. Whether you’re travelling as a couple or a solo traveler, here are five tips to indulge in slow travel activities:
Pick up verbal cues related to daily greetings and learn a bit of the locale’s lingo. Your attempts at perfecting pronunciations and inquiring about the meanings of words impresses the locals, translating to invitations for local functions or revelations of offbeat sites in the location’s vicinity.
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If you plan to reside in their hometown or village for extended periods, offer them an exchange of English lessons in return for insightful secrets of their dialects.
Skip the mainstream questions about places to visit in their village. On the contrary, indulge in rich conversation about their natural resources and whether the village’s primary income stems from rural tourism or by distributing these resources through unbranded products.
Create meaningful interactions where they feel more than just a guide or ordinary local. While they share their experiences of village life and the hardships and blessings sprinkled around, you can educate them on sustainability practices or eco-tourism solutions for travellers interested in sustainable tourism.
NotOnMap continues to empower the rural population through growing partnerships and bridging the gap between villagers and city folk.
Let the apparent luxuries of travel take the back seat on your experiential travel trips. Choose modes of transport that run on the philosophy of shared travel. Such decisions make you a contributor to a lower carbon footprint and enable a sustainable economy for such transport providers.
Try embarking on bus journeys instead of private taxis. You’ll come across several villages, locals doing their daily chores from town to town, and strangers suggesting locations that generic travellers fail to discover. In such areas, a series of lightbulb moments make you grateful for the little things in life.
Unadulterated mindsets and undiscovered cuisines, community development and cultural conservation, your travel preferences can unlock doors to much-needed awareness.
Considering the 28 states and 8 union territories spanning vast forests, mighty Himalayan mountains, glorious coastal regions, and networks of tiny towns concealed from the hustle-bustle of big city life, the offbeat element is your best bet for experiential travel.
There is no shortage of sustainability-minded properties in places like Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, Sari in Uttarakhand, or Chiplun in Maharashtra, each of which acts as an ideal destination to prolong your experiential travel adventures.
There are endless nearby villages to reach by foot, communities of creative professionals from across the globe, and unending views of nature’s offerings with every slight deviation on your walking expeditions.
Our society is witnessing a conscious revolution of young and old travellers choosing to follow sustainability, eco-tourism, and conservative travel. How we contribute to our natural ecosystems and unacknowledged guardians of the same decides where the next generation of travellers will visit.
Traveler | Copywriter