When you move to a new country, it can be very easy to set up your new life without ever actually scratching beneath the surface of your new surroundings, culture and traditions. Of course, you will acclimatize yourself, get to know where the best grocery stores etc are but to truly understand your new country, it is vital that you dig a little deeper. I have been living in Mexico City for around 2 years now and it is only in the last year that I decided it was time I learned more about my new country. The ways in which I did so can be used in almost any country in the world and so if you have recently moved somewhere new, here is how to explore your new country.
Guides and Tours
After a little while of living here, I was of the opinion that I didn’t need tours and guides as they were ‘just for the tourists,’ I was of course, very wrong. I decided therefore to take advantage of some of the guided tours that were available to truly learn more about the city and country that I was living in. Over the course of 3 months, I went on motorcycle tours, walking tours and bus tours in an effort to find out more and that is exactly what happened. Remember that you will be a tourist for a very long time and you should take advantage of these ways to find out more.
Connect With Locals
Part of being an ex-pat is about blending into the fabric of your new society and in order to best do this, you need to be doing all that you can to connect with locals. I decided that the best way of doing this was to become a yes man, and take up every invitation that came my way. In just a few months of doing this, I was spending a great deal of time with locals, eating, learning and having a great deal of fun. If you are in a country that speaks a different language, it can be easy to make yourself insular, do this however and you won’t learn anything at all.
I rely on the internet for almost everything I do and one of the best uses which I have found has been the gatherings which you can find on meetup.com. This is a site which connects you with groups and gatherings in your local area, who meet over a shared interest. What I love about this site is that there are always meet ups with history societies and people who want to explore and explain the culture. I have not only used this site to learn more about my city and country, but I have also made several very good friends through the use of the site. This site exists across the world and you can use it to meet people and most importantly, learn more about where you are.