6 Easy Ways You Can Learn Through Travel
Your bags are packed and you’re headed out the door – what are you looking forward to for this upcoming trip? Are you excited to try out new sizzling dishes, visit new sites and escape reality, if only for a little while?
When you travel, the opportunity to step out and beyond your comfort zones is unlimited.
Whether you’re practicing a difficult language with local food carts vendors or wandering about a national site with a history expert, you’ll be able to soak up and retain new knowledge that you could never learn back home.
So don’t be shy! Try your hand out at pottery or glass blowing, give your best shot at navigating the complexities of a tonal language, and cherish the opportunity to try something different. You don’t know what new friends or eye opening experiences could be gained while you try learn through travel. If we don’t convince you, perhaps the wisdom of the Athenian poet, Euripides, will. As he once said
“experience, travel – these are an education in themselves”.
Don’t know where to start? Take a peek at our infographic for ideas and be sure to download or share with others.
Learn from the Experts
While a good tour guide will be able to show you the best sights of a city or culture, interacting with a local “master” will allow you to learn about Asian cuisine, history, arts and culture in a way you never have before. Imagine touring Angkor Wat with an expert stone conservationist, cooking along with Indonesia’s most famous chef, Chef Degan, and exploring Hanoi’s art history with a famous painter. By meeting inspiring individuals whom all have special skills, experiences, stories, knowledge or history to share, you will leave with special life-learning memories of Asia. Such experiences are available through our new line of travel tours – Master Class, where you are one-on-one with a local expert.
Practice a Language
A Chinese Proverb once said that ❝learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.❞ We always try to encourage our travellers to try to pick up a few words of the local language whenever travelling somewhere new. Not only will it help you get around, but will also allow you to better connect with locals. Your efforts show your appreciation for their culture and willingness to open up to something new. Plus, it might charm sellers to give you a local discount while bargaining!
Engage in the Arts
The arts are a universal language and spoken in every culture. However, the arts that you will witness in Asia are most likely far different from anything you’ve seen back home. Listen to traditional Indonesian music– known as gamelan, visit a water puppet show in Hanoi or visit a pottery village in Thailand. As you visit art villages throughout Asia, be conscious of which ones you pick to spend your time at. Many villages are backed by social enterprises that alleviate struggling families and provide steady income from the locals’ art. One example is Thanh Tien Village in Hue, Vietnam. Here you can craft 300 year old traditional paper flowers with local villagers and also support Backstreet Academy, a local social enterprise that gives additional recognition and income to local craftsmen.
Nerd out at a Museum
Beat the heat and learn something new when you visit a national or local museum. Spend an afternoon at the idyllic Tunku Abul Rahman Marine Ecology Research Park on Malaysia’s southern coastline where you can observe ground level marine conservation of the world’s endangered aquatic animals. Or perhaps you’d like to engross yourself in the history of the place you’re visiting. In that case, stop at the Cambodian Landmine museum to learn about and support the relief work being done to remove tens of thousands of mines from Cambodia’s countryside.
Visit a Historical Site
There is no easier way to learn through travel than soaking in the atmosphere and history of a place.You’ve read and seen photos of Tiananmen Square, Ayutthaya and Luang Prabang before, but nothing truly compares to being there in person. Better yet, if you walk around with a tour guide, you will be able to hear tales of palaces filled with gold, lavish ceremonies and ancestral drama – giving even more depth to your experience.
Engage Your Taste Buds
Perhaps our favorite way to learn is by taste. As you’ll learn on your trip, food is an integral component of Asian lives. With a huge variety of food to choose from, we understand that the overwhelming scents, sights and taste can often overload your senses. To get a better sense of where to wander in a city, a walking food tour or a tuk tuk food tour will help you discover the locals’ favorite dishes. Or go a step further and learn the secrets to a good Pad Thai or green chicken curry with a cooking class at the Thai Culinary School.