Cultural Experiences on a Budget – Without Leaving the Country
Travel is a fine thing, but it doesn't often come cheap. When you don't have money, it can feel like you're missing out on the cultural experiences that come with going away. But often you can recreate them much closer to home, and have just as much fun without having to go the distance.
Eat your way around the world
These days takeaway is so much more varied than it used to be. From greasy pizzas and scraps of kebab after a night out, to the emerging healthy junk food culture, to a plethora of fine dining options: the industry sure has come a long way. So if you can't afford to take the whole family out to dinner – much less another country – a takeaway can be a happy compromise.
Pick a country you've never been to and sample their cuisine. Perhaps it will be Lebanese food brought to the doorstep by Deliveroo or a taste of the orient with something Japanese. Food is a big part of the culture of a place and it's something you can try from anywhere, without splashing anywhere near as much cash as on travelling there yourself.
Explore more of your own nation
It's a big world out there, but when you're strapped for cash, that can wait. In the meantime, content yourself with seeing as much of the country you live in while you can.
This can also add up, but there are actually plenty of things you can do cheaply or for free. Instead of taking trains or driving everywhere, look into more inexpensive options. For example, National Express coaches or Megabus are often very cheap. You can visit cities, coasts and places of interest to feel like a tourist for the day.
There are also plenty of things to do in the world of art, history and music that don't cost very much either. Plenty of museums and galleries in the UK are actually free. As the summer approaches, many councils also put on events, such as free music festivals to benefit the whole community.
Get out into the community
People make the world go around – so go out and meet them. You don't need to fly halfway across the planet to forge meaningful friendships with others: discover the different backgrounds around you.
One of the draws of travelling is meeting new people you assume you could never meet back home. But have you tried? It costs nothing to talk to people or even to volunteer. For a small fee you could potentially join in with community classes that allow you to integrate with the community.
You don't have to commit to something regularly, either. There are websites that allow you to meet with others for one off gatherings. Perhaps to talk about books, do yoga or learn mindfulness through art or creative writing. Or maybe even just to drink wine!
The more we understand our neighbours and the people close by, the more we can understand the world around us, no matter how small that may currently have to be. You don't need a lot of money to get cultured – after all, culture isn't something money can buy.