By Cuisine, Culture, Kenya, Lifestyle, Travel, Wildlife

There are many ways to experience Kenya. One can seek luxury accommodations with a five star hotel or lodge or pursue a more frugal approach through discounted venues or hostels. Yet another option exists and awaits for the adventurous traveler.

This opportunity is to travel like a local, in ways only a true local could!

1. Traveling like a local allows you to see a side of places you might not ordinarily see. Living with people who are from the country gives you a different perspective as they know the secrets of the country. Locals give you an insightful tour of the city with more information and rich history than others could. Locals will tell you all about their country and their rich, beguiling culture.

2. If you seek an in depth cultural experience, then traveling as a local is the only option. No one knows the culture better than the locals who grew up in it. They can help you avoid cultural faux pas. Are you supposed to shake hands or bow when you meet someone? A local can tell you. Is it polite or impolite to not accept an invitation to dinner? A local can tell you. Don’t second guess your manners in another country – travel with a local and know you are in good hands.

3. When you travel with a local, language barriers are easily overcome. If you’ve chosen a local to explore with, they are fluent in your language and the native tongue.

4. Locals know the best places to stay, eat and visit. Staying in a local’s home allows you to really immerse yourself into their culture. You will get to taste, see and feel their culture. From home cooked meals to family rituals, living with locals provides you with an immersive experience that you cannot get other- wise. Many times around the dinner table or just after dinner, locals will tell stories relating to their culture and history. These rich tidbits of information are priceless. A real feel for a country or a culture is guaranteed when you live with and like, the locals.

5. Safety is often a priority in foreign travels. When you go with a local, they know what areas to avoid, where crime tends to be higher and what to do to keep safe. Should you run into an issue, they also know and can help communicate with the local law enforcement to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

6. Budget friendly travels – locals know where and how to get all of the best deals. They know the places to go for everything you may want. If you are wanting to go to the marketplace for souvenirs, you want a local to go with you to help bargain for the best deals.

7. Lifelong friendships can be developed by living and traveling alongside a local or family of locals. When you travel with locals, you become family to them. You learn their customs, habits and traditions in a manner that outsiders visiting the country in other fashions do not that you will end up cherishing forever.

8. Living like a local will change your world view entirely. You will get to see a side of the country that you would not have seen otherwise. Getting to immerse yourself into the local life, meeting other locals and learning all about them on a deeper level. By having someone local introduce you to others, you are able to get a good feel for deep traditions, cultural faux pas, and especially how to thrive together as a community. They will teach you that it is not about what you have, but it is what you can make out of what is around you. After embracing their culture by living amongst them as one of them, you will never look at life the same way.

Traveling like a local has many benefits especially providing you with a life changing experience. It will show you things a typical tourist wouldn’t or can’t see, while keeping you safe. Consider what you hope to come away with following your travels. This could be the most memorable and unique experience to stay with you for years to come.

Last modified: August 25, 2023

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