No matter how old or young a culture is, it’s in the nature of all people to create symbolisms that are meaningful to them. And, apart from the usual ones – a flag and an anthem – those symbols can be found on every corner. What makes an experienced traveler is their ability to pay attention to the details around them. Therefore, you should always be on the lookout of a new piece of puzzle that makes one culture unique.
Other than tradition, and contrary to it, each culture has a parallel culture that is urban. That youthful spark and that spirit of rebellion which is only natural to young people is what you should capture in order to put together a full picture of what makes a people function. The urban culture is available to anyone – it’s in every graffiti artwork and every piece of street art you’ll encounter.
Keep a Notebook
Considering the fact how available digital photography is and that you can take photos in bulk, it can be very simple for you to let an important piece of information slip. There’s hardly anything more frustrating for travelers than not being able to remember when and where a certain photo was taken. If you want to prevent this from ever happening again, my suggestion is to keep a diary and make notes about your precise movements.
Let People Guide You
In order to capture the core of a culture, you need to participate. Sure, you can check all the must-see spots online and I won’t argue with the fact that those guides can be useful. However, no one can show you the way better than the natives. What most travelers fear is being faced with rudeness and negativity, but you’d be very surprised to know how many people feel genuinely happy when they can show a stranger around.
Record Your Travels
We did mention only photography so far, and that is what most travelers use to make their journeys eternal, but my suggestion is not to stop there. For starters, you can make short videos when you’re on a train during the sunset for example, something that lasts no more than ten seconds, and see where that takes you. After a certain while, and by implementing professional video editing services, you may be able to make something out of it. If not, you’ll have another medium that can take you back to the past and make you feel the very same impression you did at that precise moment.
Naturally, you should be much disciplined when it comes to your photo library and make sure that you tidy up each new album as soon as you get home and while the impressions are still fresh. However, as a sort of summary that has not only an aesthetic but also an emotional value, my suggestion is to create scrapbooks. Have in mind that it’s easy to get carried away with them, so try to limit it to once per year.
An experienced traveler is a good observer; if this doesn’t come naturally to you, you shouldn’t give up or get frustrated – you just need to practice. Challenge yourself on a daily basis and don’t let even one minute you spend in a foreign country be dull or filled with negativity. Let the people around you show you how to understand them and make sure to document every step of the way.