Cultural tourism has become increasingly popular in recent years, with people wanting to know more about those living in the places they visit. Visiting a host of places during a cruise can be the perfect way to get acquainted with a range of different cultures in a short time. You'll find out about customs and traditions you've never heard of and will get the chance to bring home cultural souvenirs and clothing.
But how do you go about choosing which destinations to go to? Some are certainly better for cultural tourism than others. While particular cities will look exactly like your home city, others will provide a tremendous, welcome culture shock.
Here are some ideas on how to choose destinations for a cultural tourism trip.
Use your heritage as a guide
Most of us have a relatively sound idea of where our ancestors came from, but today we can get all the information that has been forgotten. With a DNA test online, you can find out where your ancestors roamed, including some surprises. Those surprises might be just what you need to help you decide on your next travel destination.
Let’s say you learn that you have Greek ancestry. A cruise that takes you to the various Greek islands can be ideal, considering you'll get a taste of modern and ancient Greek culture. You'll also get to spend time relaxing in a destination that actually means something to you.
Of course, you don’t need a DNA test to tell you about certain aspects of your heritage. If there is a place that means something to you culturally, pay it a visit. It will feel that much more satisfying than a regular vacation.
The truth is that the most straightforward way to experience interesting cultures is to go to a different continent. As long as you're on your own continent, you have a fairly good idea of what you're going to see. You may find some wonderful tourist destinations, but you won’t experience that culture shock that can be so exciting.
Obviously, some continents are separated by a wider cultural divide than others. The difference between Europe and Asia, for example, is far more pronounced than the difference between Europe and North America. However, even then there are differences that you're not quite prepared for. While US media is consumed around the world, there are so many stories of people finding out information that TV shows never thought to mention.
Get out of your comfort zone
Generally, in order to experience other cultures, you're going to need to leave your comfort zone. Firstly, you're going to be spending time around people whose traditions (and language) you are not yet familiar with. Secondly, you're often going to have to travel a little further.
The general rule is that the more difficult a place is to get to, the more it has preserved its heritage. Globalization has changed everything, but it is much slower to impact towns which can’t be reached by one drive or flight or ship.
Go to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, for example, or check out Papua. These idyllic locations are unlike anything you've seen before and will stay that way.