Living in the bubble of our everyday routines, interacting with the same people, going to the same places, and watching the same shows every day after you get home from working the same job – it’s a way of life for most of us. And while we may want to travel and “become more cultured individuals,” the burdens of our personal and financial commitments often combine to keep us stationed in one spot for most of the year. Luckily, the advent of the internet has made it possible to see the world and learn without leaving your house. For starters, here are four ways you can become more cultured from home:
1. Explore the World’s Religions
Whether you’re religious or not, you have to admit that all cultures are influenced by at least one religion in a number of ways, from architecture and history to fashion and societal behavior. Thus, a good way to start learning about the traditions and customs of a culture is to become familiar with their religious beliefs, values, and places of interest. You can use a site like Deily to explore the texts, important figures, practices, places of worship, sacred sites, and holidays of each religion.
2. Use Virtual Reality to See the Sights
With VR making it into the mainstream and Samsung making the smartphone-based Gear VR headset available, you can easily view a place as if you’re actually there. While the technology isn’t quite as immersive as we hope it will be in the next 5 years, for now this is as close as you’re going to get without actually being there. You can even use sites like YouVisit to browse virtual tours and 360-degree videos.
3. Use Social Networking to Connect with People in Other Countries
A huge part of experiencing a culture is interacting with the locals and learning how they do things. Social networking sites like Facebook give us the opportunity to follow, friend, and communicate with people around the globe. Having friends all over is also beneficial if you’re going to be traveling in the future, as you’ll already have someone to show you around when you finally get there in person. It’s also good to have a diverse range of activity and input showing up on your wall to get a broader view of world affairs.
4. Learn a New Language
Download a language learning app like Duolingo and start learning a new language in your spare time. This is something you can do to prepare yourself for going into another culture so that you’ll be in an ideal position to have fun and avoid culture shock when the time comes to physically visit your dream destination.
Use Technology and Diligence to Become a Person of Culture
Seeing all sides of the human experience will enrich your understanding of mankind and may even tell you something about yourself. In today’s day and age, there’s nothing stopping you from learning new languages, meeting new people, and seeing some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, all from the comfort of a couch or computer chair.