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Hayden Vonbargen | Tips for Connecting with Locals While Traveling

Hayden Vonbargen of Chehalis, Washington, an avid traveler, shares some tips for connecting with the local in your next destination.

By Hayden VonbargenPublished 6 months ago 3 min read

Meeting and connecting with locals is one of the most rewarding elements of traveling is. Getting to know and interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds can broaden your perspectives, learn new things, and create unforgettable memories. However, connecting with locals can also be challenging, especially if you speak a different language or are unfamiliar with local customs.

Learn the Language

Learning even a few easy phrases in the local language can go a long way in connecting with locals. It shows that you respect their culture and are trying to communicate with them. While no one would expect you to be fluent, learning how to say “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye” can help break the ice and make locals more receptive to you.

Take Part in Local Activities

Participating in local activities is a great way to meet and connect with locals. Whether attending a cultural festival, taking a cooking class, or joining a community event, getting involved in local activities can help you immerse yourself in the local culture and meet like-minded people.

Use Social Media

Social media is a fantastic way to connect with local people while traveling. There are a variety of platforms that you can use to find groups, events, and other activities. You can also ask the locals for their recommendations on places to visit and things to do.

Stay in Homestays or Local Accommodations

Staying in homestays or local accommodations is an excellent way to connect with locals. You can learn more about local customs and traditions and see how locals live firsthand by visiting with a local family or in a local guesthouse, leading to meaningful conversations and connections you wouldn’t otherwise have had.


Volunteering is another excellent way to connect with locals while traveling. You can find volunteer opportunities in various areas, from environmental conservation to community development. Not only does volunteering allow you to make a positive impact, but it can also allow you to meet locals who are much more like you than you’d think.

Be Respectful

Finally, it’s essential to be respectful when interacting with locals. This means being mindful of local customs and traditions, dressing appropriately, and showing interest in their culture. It also means being patient and understanding when there are language barriers or cultural differences. You can create a positive impression and build lasting relationships with locals by showing respect and appreciation.

Connecting with locals while traveling can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. By learning the local language, participating in local activities, using social media, staying in homestays or local accommodations, volunteering, and being respectful, you can make meaningful connections with locals and gain a deeper appreciation for their culture. So, step out of your comfort zone the next time you travel and connect with the locals. You never know what new experiences and perspectives you may gain.

About Hayden Vonbargen

Hayden Vonbargen of Chehalis, WA, is a dedicated and hard-working young man. He graduated from Adna High School in Adna, WA, in 2017 and now fills his time with a variety of jobs and activities. Hayden has always been athletic, and he loves every opportunity to get outside and stay active.

Currently, Hayden Vonbargen’s primary job is working as a UPS Truck Loader. His first experience working with UPS was in 2021 when he took a job as a UPS Driver Helper during the holiday season. He enjoyed working with several different drivers to help them deliver their packages every week. Since March of 2022, he’s been serving as Truck Loader, helping load packages of a variety of sizes before the drivers head out for deliveries. This is a fast-paced environment that requires focus and significant physical effort.

travel adviceculture

About the Creator

Hayden Vonbargen

Hayden Vonbargen loves to hike, run, and snowboard. He lives in Chehalis, WA, where he keeps active while working for UPS and regularly volunteering for the Washington Trails Association.

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