The Importance of Meeting Local People While Travelling

Last Updated on March 10, 2019

The Importance of Meeting Local People While Travelling


What is the point of travelling to you? Is it to make memories, to see new countries, to tick off another country off the list? Is it about meeting local people or simply tasting new food? Travelling local invokes a lot of questions and a question I am often asked is why I travel. Most of those reasons are true but one is incredibly important to me and I think it should be to every traveller – it’s the importance of meeting the local people.

I feel saddened when I hear of stories of backpackers or fancy travellers spending their entire time drinking, partying and staying in their own bubble and not actually interacting with anyone apart from their own group of friends. You may as well do that in your own country if that’s the case. Travelling is all about learning and the best people you can learn off are the people who are from that country. They will be able to tell you stories, facts and the daily life of living in that particular country.

Meeting local people abroad

The Importance of Meeting Local People While Travelling
Too often these days we are looking into a screen and I am 100% guilty of this. As a travel blogger, I spend most of my time scrolling through Instagram or staring at my computer screen working for hours on end. I often obsess over getting the perfect picture for my blog, which I know is important because that’s my job, but it’s also important to take pictures with your own eye, or in other words – memories. We miss the opportunity to smile back at the locals if we are too busy checking our Instagram page.

This last year has really opened my eyes on how travelling has changed, even when I started backpacking and that wasn’t even that long ago (I’m only 24!). Nowadays the hostel common room is not buzzing with the conversation but instead silence as everyone is too busy trying to get a connection. If people put their phone down in a local café they would learn things a lot faster and in greater detail than they are trying to google it.

How to meet people while travelling? Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with people. Ask them how they are, where they are from and how’s daily life. You will be surprised what you learn just striking up a conversation.


The Importance of Meeting Local People While Travelling
From travelling the world there’s one thing I learnt, especially in India. Be open to conversation. In India, sometimes the conversation would likely lead to being scammed but anyway, just smile and move on.

Travelling is about connection. Making connections around the world and memories with people from other countries. Those are the memories you will remember forever not looking down at that funny meme on your phone. Remember when you’re travelling to take in the moments, smile and appreciate that you can explore this beautiful world as many will never have that opportunity.

I feel as though we are going backwards in a lot of ways, but especially so in travelling. Travelling is a lot different from 20 years ago. There are huge advantages that are the norm now, and that makes me happy that it is the case. For example, my job wouldn’t have been around 20 years ago and the fact that I can connect with my family by pressing a button. That is a huge advantage of travelling these days. But I feel in terms of connections we are heading backwards. We are closing ourselves off to the world.

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Let me know your thoughts on meeting local people as I would love to discuss this further in the comments section.


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The Comments

  • Jub (@tikitouringkiwi)
    June 27, 2017

    Hostels are definitely becoming a quiet zone now, the new library? On the other hand, technology allows people to have ‘more local’ experiences through food tours and that rubbish. But are these genuine interactions? ALL THE QUESTIONS

    I like just heading down to the park and joining in with whatever sports is flavour of the month. You’re on a level playing field as soon as sports is involved, so it removes much of the alterior motives that you probably need to be aware of in other interactions.

    I’ll happily chat with a stall owner….but we are basically faking the conversation as we both know he is going to ask for the sale eventually…which is tough to get through.

    My point? No idea 🙂

    Who was someone interesting you meant in the Philippines?

  • Cris
    July 3, 2017

    Love this, meeting local people is so important when travelling.