Are you resisting living in a bubble or happily basking in a homogeneous vat of comfort?
News isn’t the only place people are selectively choosing only what they want and not a broader experience. It is also how people live their life in their local neighborhoods.
People who want to live a GR8TR life actively seek out fresh, broad experiences. You do not have to travel to other cultures to try new things most of the time. If you are even in a mid-sized city, you can find many multi-cultural experiences close to home. Here are some ideas for exploring other cultures while not travelling to other countries.
- Restaurants – This is the obvious one. Do not got to the big chain restaurants and expect an authentic experience. Instead, seek out locally owned, authentic restaurants where the immigrant families probably make up most of the employees. And do not just go Chinese or Mexican. Ethiopian, Greek, Nepali, Indian, Japanese, Lebanese and Russian restaurants can all provide unique experiences.
- Teach ESL – If you want to make a lot of friends from other places, consider volunteering for ESL, which stands for English as a Second Language. Sometimes you may need to be certified, but if you volunteer at a library you may just oversee conversational practice classes. When I have done this in the past, I have had people bring food and become good friends. Even though their English language skills may be limited, they are going to get you outside of your comfort zone and get you to learn more about people from all over the world.
- Go to Festivals – Keep and eye out for those festivals different cultures have. They are celebrating their heritage and when you go you will get to taste the food, hear the music and meet some of the people. A great way to dive into another culture.
- Visit Neighborhoods – Many cities have areas where a certain ethnic group will live in and open businesses in. Going to these places can be a lot of fun. The grocery store will have different foods, the restaurants and bars will be mostly local people and the whole feel can seem like you are in another city or country. Go once and if you enjoy it, become a regular. Learn to cook some dishes on YouTube and go to the grocery store regularly for your exotic ingredients. Talk to people there and find out some other things to try.
This is good for you to appreciate other cultures and get out of your bubble – and it is even more important for young kids. Kids growing up with an appreciation for other cultures and many different foods starts with exposure at a young age. This all takes effort, and it is far easier to stay in your own community. But you will be a more interesting, more whole person when you have a broader human experience.