Live Like a Local: Four Ways to Experience Culture and Community on Your Next Adventure
The magic of exploring a new place – after seeking out the best hiking trails, climbing walls and backcountry of course – lies in getting to know the people who live there. The local culture, food, art and music are at the heart of any town, city or region, and living like a local can be a gateway to the most meaningful and life-changing experiences when traveling.
We’ve curated a list of four ways you can learn, connect, and live like a local on your adventures – with a little bit of help from Yervana locals of course. Read on to learn how to experience culture on your next adventure!
1. Get to know the cuisine
As Anthony Bourdain once said, “food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” To get acquainted with a new place, it’s a safe bet that starting with its food will be the perfect introduction.
There’s no better way to get to know local cuisine than by booking a food tour, where a local can give you behind-the-scenes knowledge about the food scene, local hotspots, and hidden gems.
If you’re in Jasper, join Yervana Local Estelle for a Downtown Jasper Foodie Tour and Historical Walk. On a short 1.5km walking tour, Estelle will take you to four local hotspots to dine on their best dishes, with a beverage pairing, and give you the lowdown on Jasper’s history and best stories. It’s a great way to get to know your way around town, and most importantly, the food scene.
If you’re looking to treat yourself in Whistler, join Yervana Local Dean for the Finer Things Tour. You’ll enjoy four courses at some of Whistler’s award-winning restaurants, accompanied by local knowledge of everything to see, do and eat while in town. There’s even the chance to learn how to saber champagne – talk about the high life!
2. Experience Indigenous culture
Booking an Adventure with a local Indigenous guide is a meaningful way to learn about local Indigenous culture, and take steps toward reconciliation and understanding.
As Yervana Local Brenda says, “if they wish to learn about Indigenous culture, then it is critical that they book an Indigenous guide. If they wish to spend time with a true original guide, then they should book with an Indigenous guide. If they wish to have an experience that will leave them in awe, excited, intrigued and forever changed, then an Indigenous guide can provide that in ways that may surprise them.”
In Campbell River, join Yervana Local Chyanne on an immersive cultural tour into the Homalco traditional territory with her People Water Land Tour. You’ll travel to Aupe (Church House), an important cultural and historical village site and through the Salish sea while learning about Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) peoples’ history, traditions, language and culture. This tour also offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and whale watching. When you arrive in Aupe, your guide will take you on an interpretive walk around the village, exploring the history of Aupe and the people that call it home. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn about the Xwémalhkwu people, from a local in the community.
If you’re in Mountain View Country Alberta, join Yervana Local Tracey for a Bimojige Hunting and Gathering Archery Experience. Not only will you learn a new skill and get hands-on experience, you’ll learn about hunting and gathering from an Indigenous lens, highlighting how important it is in traditional ways of living. You’ll also learn traditional Indigenous methods of cooking, learning how to use traditional plants for flavour and medicinal uses. This unique opportunity will not only allow you to connect to the land, but it will connect you to the original people who lived there.
3. Learn about the local environment
While your first inclination may be to explore the local wilderness on foot, add a layer of knowledge to your adventure by learning about the local plants, animals, and ecosystem from a knowledgeable local. Learning about local plants and their traditional uses will not only bring you closer to the land, but also closer to the community.
In Sundre, Alberta, join Yervana Local Brenda for a Summer Plant Medicine Walk. You’ll learn how her ancestors survived off the land for millennia. It’s an eye-opening experience where you take a walk in a mountain meadow or through the forest and get the experience of a knowledgeable guide who can identify any plant, tree or bush and tell you how it can be used to make something crucial to survival – a fire cider for a flu or cold, a food source or a fire starter.
In Etobicoke, Ontario, join Yervana Local David for Wild Edibles Foraging, where you will learn how to safely and legally forage for wild edibles on a fun and easy-going hike. A great opportunity to both get to know the environment, and learn a new skill!
4. Immerse yourself in the art scene
Art and culture are deeply intertwined and connected – and most travels wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a local art museum or gallery. However, getting out in nature, connecting with a local artist, and making art yourself can be an unforgettable way to make memories and get immersed in the local art scene.
This unique opportunity presents itself in Barrière, BC, where Yervana Local Grace will take you on an Art in the Forest Walk. Grace is a registered Forest Therapy Guide, and, in partnership with local artist Christine Kashuba, will guide you through a local forest and help you to create bespoke art pieces that reflect your experience in nature. This is a truly one-of-a-kind experience that will allow you to connect to local surroundings like never before!
Wherever your travels take you, the best way to live like a local is to connect with locals themselves. Tap the link below to get started on your vacation planning with the help of Yervana’s local guides!