There are plenty of reasons why people choose to travel and explore foreign destinations. One of those reasons is often culture. We love to explore the unknown and experience things that are unfamiliar to us. Travelers on our trips are able to immerse themselves in the local culture and learn a thing or two about history at the same time!
Southeast Asia – Buddhism
Southeast Asia is rich with culture and is the perfect place to travel to if you’re interested in learning more about the predominant religion in the region, buddhism.
Here, you can observe the almsgiving ritual. There is a philosophy in Buddhism that ‘the more you give, the more you gain.’ Every morning, just after sunrise in cities across Southeast Asia, local citizens line the sidewalks as processions of monks walk to the local temple. On the way, monks are gifted their food for the day by local Buddhists who gain good karma in the daily ceremony called Almsgiving.
There are also thousands of unique temples throughout Southeast Asia. All were created with such beauty and attention to detail they will take your breath away. Just remember to cover your shoulders and knees while visiting a temple. And out of respect, don’t point with your finger. Instead point with your palm facing up.
Peru – Machu Picchu and the Incas
Machu Picchu, located in modern day Peru, is shrouded in mystery. After the Spanish conquest, this ancient civilization of the Incas was lost in the jungle for hundreds of years; a secret known only to locals. In 1911 it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham and his team of explorers during their mission to discover the lost cities of the Incas.
The Incan people spoke a language called Quechua, however, they did not write. Instead they kept records using a method of tying knots in string, called quipu. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to fully decipher these knots, which is one of the reasons why Machu Picchu is still so mysterious to us.
After its rediscovery in the 20th century, the remote mountain location and sheer beauty of Machu Picchu have made this World Heritage site a rite of passage for world travelers. Join our Peru trip and hike Machu Picchu along with our local Incan guide, who’s traditional approach will take this from a hike to a spiritual experience.
Check out our 20-day Peru trip here.
Spain is the culture seeker’s paradise! From the Alhambra and Roma caves in Granada, to the Cathedral and 5th century Moorish Castle in Seville, to the main attraction: the works of Gaudi and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: there is so much to see and it’s all going to blow your mind. You’ll have a chance to see all of this and more on our 10-day, action-packed trip through the Spanish hotspots (visits to the Alhambra, Roma Caves, and Sagrada Familia are included in the trip price! Click here for more information).
Spain has an intense history: many deadly wars, including a defining civil war, the famous Spanish Inquisition, and an ongoing economic battle as repercussions of the financial crisis still reverberate through this not-so-tightly-knit country. Through all of this, Spain has created and maintained a strong cultural identity. Each region boasts their own special traditions and, Catalonia especially, exhibits a palpable pride.
Spain’s unique culture hypnotizes travelers and lulls them in. Take the flamenco for example: the combination of dance, folk music, singing, and clapping to create an epic, dramatic story that unfolds in front of your eyes. Their food and the way they eat and drink is a whole other level. Enjoy amazing wine with tapas, or paella next to the ocean. Spanish people stay up late, will take any excuse to throw a party, and truly enjoy life to the fullest. Their lifestyle, the siestas and fiestas, speaks to people all around the world who are looking for an alternative that is adventurous and alluring.
Come to Spain to experience the energy! Free & Easy Traveler knows where to go, what to do, and it truly is the best way to see Spain! Add on 10-days in Portugal and 20-days in Greece to get even more cultural to-do’s crossed off your bucket list!
If you’d like to immerse yourself in history and learn more about the different cultures that make up a country/region, check out all of our trips here.