Feel like an outsider? Here are 6 ways to blend-in on a trip

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No matter how we try to fight or deny it, the truth remains that every human being wants to belong and be accepted, especially when they are in locations where they have little or no grasp of the things is going on around them.

Blending into an environment has certain advantages. It allows for a closer look at the local culture of a place; an experience that might not be possible for complete outsiders, and also gives a measure of safety in places where standing out as a makes you an easy prey for pick-pocketing and other crimes.

Many times, frequent travelers find themselves in uncomfortable positions where they stand out by the colour of their skin and tilt to their accent. If you are looking to find tips on how to blend in while visiting any location, Jumia Travel, Africa’s No.1 Online Hotel Booking Service has 6 easy tips to share.

Mimic the locals

The ability to mimic is innate in every human as it remains a major tool for socialization. Babies learn to make gestures and talk by mimicking the people around them, likewise, adults who travel can discretely study their environments and then try to copy the locals in order to win their trust.

In a bid to learn new ways, engage the locals in talks, ask for their advice on where to go, what to see or what to do in that particular city or local. In the end, you will become more like the people you associate with.

Make yourself scarce

Sometimes, you blend in by making sure you are rarely seen. This can be easily achieved in places where the people are highly private and rarely roam the streets.

If you are however in a bustling city where you cannot avoid bumping into people on a regular basis, you can decide to lodge in a hotel that has all the amenities you need – including restaurant, shops and spas – to avoid moving around town too frequently. You can also choose to rent a tinted car to reduce the chances of being seen while moving around town.

Keep an open mind and tolerate everything

No matter how developed and liberal the world has become, there are still some places where foreign habits or beliefs are not tolerated. In other places, the pace of living is incredibly slow while others live at as though life is a mad rush. If you must blend in while visiting any particular location, you may want to just go with whatever is the norm there.

BMKBD4 African boys and western foreigner hanging out and smiling for the camera, playing and clowning around on the beach.

Watch the pitch of your voice

People from certain areas speak languages with very strong accents and generally speak louder than others who are from areas where the accents are soft and do not stress their pronunciations. For instance a person from the western part of Nigeria will generally speak louder than someone from England; even if both are speaking English.

Speaking loudly, especially in a language or accent that is not the formal dialect of the place you are visiting, will definitely attract unnecessary attention. It is usually best to observe your surrounding, listening to pitch of the language used and adapt. If you cannot figure out if yours is high or not, just stick with speaking half as high as you would on a normal day to avoid undue attention.

A smile goes a long way

Always put on a happy face! A smile can move mountains and open doors that you never expected would ever open. Same way, a smile can endear you to the people you meet in certain locations where you are limited by language barriers.

A strong non-verbal cue, a smile suggests that you are friendly, open and willing to have a conversation, already giving you a great shot at fitting in.

Try not to be conspicuous

This is easily achieved by dressing to match the locals. Although the European mode of dressing has swept across the continents and people in metropolitan cities around the world tend to dress alike, there are still some places where their style is unique and visitors instantly stand out until they adopt same mode of dressing.

For instance a woman in Saudi Arabia who isn’t wearing the hijab stands out no matter where she goes. When visiting any destination, research the area, find out what they wear and pack accordingly as dressing like the locals is your best bet at blending in. If you do not own the kind of clothing required, carry your credit card with you to make purchases the minute you get into the destination.

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