“Tourist” and “traveler” are synonymous words but still have different meanings for some. A tourist is a person who goes to a certain destination basically for leisure and relaxation. Visit an attraction for the sake of being there.
On the other hand, travelers are those who proceed to their destination that aside from enjoying the available attractions, try not to stand out as visitors rather aim to immerse with the local group. Travelers consider these as precious moments as it will make their trip memorable and life-changing.
Philippines is an archipelago and the geographical condition of the country affected the diversity of the local culture. I still consider myself a stranger and learn a lot from other cultures during my trips. I have been traveling around for almost 2 years now and most memorable experiences so far were those encounters with the locals.
One of them is my trip to the province of Ifugao as I was given the opportunity to be aware of the culture of the highlanders, one of the most interesting customs to discover. We stayed in a traditional Ifugao hut having a simple ethnic style which is elevated from the ground. Aside from the accommodation, we also came across with one of their practices, to have bonfire and gather to share stories while their local wine called “tapuy” (rice wine) was being shared to everyone.
Aside from this, you can also mingle with the locals and share life stories with them. I remember how Nanay Tina of Itbayat, Batanes shares the challenges that somehow hinder the people of her community to dream for a better life. A reality that engulfed me to appreciate what I can do and be thankful with what I have.
Immersing with locals is really a great way for travelers to get to know a different culture. Recently, I have read numerous articles about a group who encourages every traveler to experience local when visiting certain destinations in the world. These activities will give everyone a glance of the local culture on its raw form.
Withlocals is a marketplace linking travelers from every corner of the world with locals in Asia offering unique travel experiences and home dining opportunities. If you want to offer yourself as a host or to sign up as a traveler, you can book your first experience on their website.
The experiences being offered by the site are sorted into three categories: EAT Withlocals, TOUR Withlocals, and ACTIVITIES Withlocals. Withlocals is now available in South East Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and coming soon to the Philippines.
HOW IT WORKS
Since Withlocals is a peer-to-peer marketplace where local people offer experiences and their skills to travelers, their mission is to connect people and cultures through food and unique experiences.
TRUST AND SAFETY
Just any travelers concern, WithLocals also wants to reassure the safety and quality of the experience to be provided. It is very important for them so they implement a thorough system to guarantee quality. This includes a comprehensive and authentic review system, verified supplier system, and only promotes hosts with whom they’ve had personal contact.
In addition, they have representatives that visit hosts who have subscribed on their website, take pictures of the hosts and their tour, activity or dinner. They also check the quality and trustworthiness of the experience and give it a rating that will be published on the site.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE LOCALS
You can also sign-up on their website as hosts to get your home dining experience, tour or activity listed. After the ambassadors check the things you can offer to travelers, the experiences will be added to your profile on their website and will start to accommodate travelers.
Payment is made quickly and easily through the Withlocals website and the local host will receive payment after service. This ensures that the host gets paid and that the traveler can receive their money back if less than satisfied.
Where are you going next? Experience LOCAL: talk like a local, eat like a local and do what the locals do. Visit WithLocals website for other inquiries and to know how you will earn just by letting travelers experience your culture.