When you’re in your native country, you can have the confidence to walk up to someone and ask them for assistance or even start up a conversation at a bar to meet someone new. But when you’re travelling abroad, it can become a lot harder because you may not speak the native language or you may become too nervous to even ask for where the bathroom is located.
If you want to get around comfortably while travelling abroad, though, you’ll need to learn how to confidently interact with locals, and the tips below can help.
Bring a Pen and Some Paper with You
In addition to your mobile device, it’s a good idea to carry around a small pad of paper and a pen when you’re in another country. You can use this to write down the names of cities and places, or even create a drawing in order to illustrate what you want to say. In this way, your foreign accent won’t get in the way and you’ll be able to get the help that you need, whether you need assistance with purchasing public transportation tickets or you need help getting to a specific location.
Bring a Small Translation Book
It’s a good idea to learn at least some of the language before you head to another country for a holiday or for work related purposes. Just knowing a few common phrases could make it a lot easier to interact with locals at markets, restaurants, hotels, etc. But to take this a step further, especially if you have trouble memorising new words or you have trouble learning a new language, carry around a book of translations from a professional translation agency so that you can look up what you need to say when you need to say it.
Speak Slowly and Maintain Your Patience
Whenever you attempt to interact with a local, you need to be patient, both with yourself and with the person that you’re talking to. This is because they may not understand you right away, and it may take them a bit of time to come up with an answer for you. Plus, they may also struggle with speaking to you in a way that you’ll understand what they’re saying if they don’t speak English well, if at all.
Even though it may be tempting to speak more loudly when someone doesn’t understand you, keep in mind that it has nothing to do with volume. Instead, speak more slowly, or use your pen and paper from the tip above to illustrate what you’re trying to say.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make New Connections
Finally, don’t be afraid of making new connections with people you meet in other countries. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy each other’s company and how much you can learn from one another.
With these tips in mind, you can improve your interactions with locals while you’re travelling abroad, ensuring you’re able to get the help you need, meet great new people, and have an unforgettable and really fun experience.