The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to many people’s international travel experiences. People are far more hesitant to fly now. Global travel has been made impossible in some cases, as countries have issued travel bans in an attempt to prevent tourists from bringing the virus across borders. Fortunately, there are still ways you can enjoy other cultures during the pandemic.

Eat New Foods

Even if you’re stuck in your hometown, you can still take your tastebuds on a journey. Many of your local restaurants are offering takeout as a way to keep their business afloat, especially with how limited dine-in options have been. Branch out and try new restaurants you haven’t eaten at before. Sometimes the very best ethnic foods are found in hole-in-the-wall, mom and pop restaurants. Takeout is considered a safe way to support local restaurants, but you should still take measures to protect yourself and those living with you in order to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Experience Virtually

If you’re craving a more in person sort of experience, virtual travel may be the way to go. You wouldn’t be alone in doing so either. Over a million guests are registering for virtual activities that let them experience other cultures. These experiences  allow you to virtually join your host as they take you on whatever adventure you signed up for. You might join them for a hike to experience the local scenery, learn how to cook delicious dishes that are cultural favorites, observe a crafting skill, or get up close and personal with some animal friends. You might not be physically present, but you may end up feeling like you are.

Sample Their Music

Music is an intrinsic part of every culture. It allows people to express themselves in ways words never can, no matter the culture or language. It brings people together and connects them. If you want to learn about a culture, listening to their music is a great place to start. You can search for it on your own, or try sending out some feelers and see if other people have some suggestions for you to listen to. Better yet, make that one of your virtual experiences.

While it might be less immersive than you’re used to, there are still ways you can experience other cultures, even during a pandemic. Experiencing a culture’s music and food are great ways to do so while staying close to home, while virtual adventures let you visit places around the globe from the comfort of your own home. And since your guides are locals who know the area and everything it has to offer, you may find your experience offers something you’d miss if you had gone yourself. Who knows? You may find you like it better this way.

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