While settling in to the laidback rhythm of pastoral Europe is lovely, “slow” isn’t everyone’s preferred speed. If your idea of Local Living involves stepping outside your comfort zone and diving face-first into a foreign culture, we’ve got you covered six ways to Sunday.
Our Local Living adventures outside Europe serve up some of the most out-there experiences we could find; the sort of stuff you’d never be able to arrange on your own (unless you’ve got close personal friends in the Amazon rainforest or on the Mongolian steppe, of course). These trips offer the best kind of culture shock, dropping you deep inside a destination with a bunch of new best friends in order to see how people in the world’s remote regions really live. Culture is best when it’s immersive, and with Local Living, you’ll always be up to your neck in it.
Some are content to settle for adventures off the beaten path. These Local Living experiences are even further off than that. Dig deep into some of the world’s most remote regions with us and see what others will never see.
When you live on the Mongolian steppe, the closest supermarket is often a time zone away. But remoteness doesn’t mean going without, as you’ll discover when making byaslag, a Mongolian cheese. A tasty blend of sweet and salty, this hardy product isn’t aged like European cheese, but rather dried on the roof of someone’s house during the day. And once you’ve tried it, you’ll never question the method.
Central to life in the Amazon rainforest, the blowgun is the Waorani hunter’s weapon of choice. Using a hollowed-out palm branch and darts tipped with paralyzing curare poison, a skilled hunter can hit monkeys and birds as far as 40m (130 ft) away. And while your hosts won’t expect you to catch your own food this way, you’ll get the chance to see it in action through a special expert-led demonstration.
Respecting customs is one of the most important parts of travelling, especially when you’re embedded with the locals. This isn’t always easy, especially when tradition clashes with Western values. The village of Maji Moto manages to be both socially progressive and protective of its heritage. Outspoken proponents of women’s and children’s rights, the village elders have even gone so far as to establish a community for the region’s widows.
Beyond being delicious, Thai food is known for its spiciness. That characteristic holds true up in the hills of Northern Thailand, too, where the Lahu tribe lives. Up here, almost everything you'll eat is seasoned with chili and salt. Vegetables, mushrooms, and even bamboo turn up as key ingredients in the local curries, and the Lahu often add crumbled soybean cakes to the mix as protection against any poisonous mushrooms that might find their way into the pot. Dinner just got very interesting!