Traveling is one of the most eye-opening, freedom-inducing and down right amazing things you can do, but not everyone wants to do it as a tourist. Sure, you might want to take photos of the local highlights, and check out some of the ‘hotspots’ but here we are showing you 5 ways to be more than a tourist on your travels.

Just Whistle While You Work (and Travel!)

Many people take advantage of working while they travel, and the benefits are endless. Not only do you get to travel to some incredible places, but you earn money to fund your nomadic lifestyle. Furthermore, you will get to know the place and the locals on a  much deeper level.  Whether you want to work in a coffee shop in Australia, teach English in Thailand or go fruit picking in the Caribbean, there are so many opportunities out there waiting for people just like you.

Volunteer + Tourism = Voluntourism

So you want to travel and see the sights but don’t want to be a full blown tourist? Try volunteering! There’s literally something for everything. If you’re an animal enthusiast you can help in elephant sanctuaries in India or with shark conservation in South Africa. Maybe you want to volunteer and help teach children in Brazil, or perhaps you fancy building a house or school in Sri Lanka. There’s never a shortage of places that need volunteers. You will get to help out and really feel a part of the global community we all live in, as well as having the chance to see somewhere new. The best part is is that there are opportunities that last anything from 1 day to a couple of years – so whatever time you have – you can volunteer.

Learn Some New Tricks

Ever wanted to learn how to surf? Maybe you want to brush up on a new language?   Want to cook up some tasty new dishes? Or maybe its snowboarding, martial arts or photography? If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, you can guarantee that you can go learn it somewhere in another country. Where better to improve your Italian than in a language school in the heart of Rome? Or skiing on the Canadian slopes? Figure out what it is you want to learn…and go for it.

Go on a Secret Mission

You don’t have to literally go on a secret mission, but having a purpose or a goal can bring fresh life to your travels. You might decide you want to write poetry inspired by places around the world, become a new travel blogger or that you want to investigate cultural dress from every corner of the globe. Having a purpose to your trip makes it exciting and personalized without it being a simple tourist jaunt.

Live Like a Local

Eat where the locals eat. Make friends. Go on walks. Find out what the locals like to do. Rather than soak in all of the latest tourist hot spots, why not go off the beaten path and find out what the locals like to do. This leads to you getting a far better understanding of the place you’re going to than being a tourist ever will! Get engrossed in the culture and get exploring!

Bethan Newman is an English girl trundling through life and jaunting to places the world over.

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