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6 Ways to Get Out of Your Travel Bubble (and Why It’s a Good Idea)

February 17, 2015|Posted in: Travel Advice


During my many trips scouting itineraries for Llama Expeditions, I have met a number of people who travel in a bubble. The bubble is a way to re-create the familiar experience of home abroad. It allows you to bypass the inevitable discomfort of anything foreign.

The problem with traveling in a bubble is that you sacrifice some of the benefits of going on an adventure in a foreign country for the sake of staying in your comfort zone. It will be comfortable for sure. But, it won’t be especially memorable.

And, I don’t know about you, but when I was in my travel bubble, everywhere I went started to look suspiciously the same. Nowhere and no one really captured my imagination, made me question my perspective, or even more importantly, touched my heart.

Here are a few ideas to help you get out of your comfort bubble when you travel. The more you can do, the more authentic and memorable your trip will be.

  • Try a home stay or at the very least get out of the standard hotel chains and stay in a locally owned inn. When you wake up in the morning, you should be able to look around and realize you are “not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz.
  • Taste some of the local specialties. I ate lemon ants in the Amazon rainforest, but drew the line at worms.
  • Participate in anything that allows you an opportunity for cultural exchange. A small private tour can be a great way to do this. There is a built-in opportunity for cultural exchange with your local guide.
  • Learn a little bit of the language and then try it. People open up when you make the effort to greet them or thank them in their own language.
  • Travel via local transportation, given that it is safe. You don’t have to travel exclusively by local transportation, but give it a try.
  • When possible, get out of the tourist areas and explore local neighborhoods.

In other words, get out and rub elbows with the people in the country you are visiting instead of sealing yourself off by trying to make sure your experience includes all of the comforts of home.

Check out our private guided tours to experience authentic travel!



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