Being in a new place with little or no understanding of their culture or belief can be daunting.
Human beings are generally faced with a constant need to adapt and blend in with their environment. If you find yourself in Lagos state, Nigeria, blending in can be the difference between living an isolated existence and making new friends and meeting new people.
Blending into an environment has certain advantages. It allows for a closer look at the local culture of a place; an experience that might not be possible for complete outsiders, and also gives a measure of safety in places where standing out as a makes you an easy prey for pick-pocketing and other crimes.
Many times, frequent travelers find themselves in uncomfortable positions where they stand out by the colour of their skin or the difference in their accent. If you are looking to find tips on how to blend in to Lagos living we have some important ones for you.
1. Mimic the locals
The ability to mimic is innate in every human as it remains a major tool for socialization. Babies learn to make gestures and talk by mimicking the people around them, likewise, adults who travel can discretely study their environments and then try to copy the locals in order to win their trust.
In a bid to learn new ways, engage the locals in talks, ask for their advice on where to go, what to see or what to do in that particular city or local. In the end, you will become more like the people you associate with.
2. Be open minded
Be open to exploring new cultures, beliefs and ideologies. This doesn’t just make you easy to mingle with, but makes you a better person altogether. Watch the lifestyle and culture of the people around you, adopt their slangs and lingua and try to just live in the moment.
3. Let your voice blend in with the crowd
People from certain areas speak languages with very strong accents and generally speak louder than others who are from areas where the accents are soft and do not stress their pronunciations.
Your best bet is to observe your surrounding, listening to the pitch of the language used and adapt. If you cannot figure out if yours is high or not, just stick with speaking half as high as you would on a normal day to avoid undue attention.
4. Never leave your smile at home
Always put on a happy face! A smile tells people you’e open to help and be helped and you’re easy to appraoch and start up a conversation with. Even when there are language barriers, a smile can send a message of endearment to people. This automatically makes it easier for you to fit in with the Lagos crowd.
5. Avoid standing out too much
This is easily achieved by dressing to match the locals. Although the mode of dressing in most metropolitan cities around the world is relatively the same. There are still a few differences or adjustments to be made
For instance a woman in Saudi Arabia who isn’t wearing the hijab stands out no matter where she goes. When visiting any destination, research the area, find out what they wear and pack accordingly as dressing like the locals is your best bet at blending in. If you do not own the kind of clothing required, carry your credit card with you to make purchases the minute you get into the destination.