How to Get an “Authentic” Travel Experience

Sometimes travellers visiting foreign countries feel pressure to get an “authentic” experience. On a basic level, “authentic” may mean avoiding tourist traps which overcharge for mediocre food that a local would never buy, but there’s also a deeper meaning. Read on to learn how travellers can experience another country the way locals there do.

Work in a Country to Live Like a Local

It takes a long time to absorb the full context of a foreign country, and the truth is the search for “authenticity” is probably impossible: you can’t just parachute in and fully absorb it in days or even weeks. Every country, every region, has its own complex languages, history, politics, and customs. Anyway, there isn’t one single and definitive experience of any one place.

But the closest thing to an “authentic” experience involves working and living in that country for an extended period of time. Local residents don’t merely visit the famous sites and restaurants, they work!

Everyday Routines

When you develop a work routine in a foreign country, you’ll live in that country the way millions of people there do every day. Work is the gateway to a local culture.

In some cultures it’s common to take a siesta in the middle of the work day, or go karaoke singing after work with your boss. The differences from the work routines here and where you’re from will make you appreciate the country you’re visiting. Authenticity is all about being immersed in another culture, rather than just seeing it.

Sharing Languages

One popular way to work and live abroad is to teach English as a second language — if you’re fortunate enough to be a native speaker of the language people around the world are so eager to learn, you can teach English while having an epic travel experience.

If you want the chance to teach ESL and live in a varied and rich culture like South Korea, you can learn more at and see how the benefits of linking with a company that handles everything to get you employed, such as flights, visas, housing, ensuring you’re settled in to the new country, and preparing you for teaching in a classroom. Many of the staff were teachers themselves, and totally understand the position you’ll be in. Living in a new and exotic place requires a period of adjustment, and you’ll be glad you have support to help get you acclimatized.

Teaching abroad is an excellent way to work and live in another culture radically different from your own, and provides you with the closest thing you can get to an “authentic” travel experience.

You’ll learn a lot about their culture and yours, make friends for life, and have the kind of exhilarating experience you only get from taking a risk. Everyone should do something along these lines once in their life — there’s just no way to synthesize the travel experience but to pick up and go.

If you want an authentic travel experience that lets you feel another culture at a deeper level than merely avoiding the tourist traps, move to a faraway country and teach English as a second language.