We have never done a trip like this but I was thinking of taking my wife and 5 year old daughter for a trip with the goal of living and experiencing another culture. My thought was to pick a place and immerse ourselves into everything around us for a month. I want to introduce my daughter to the idea that the world is a very vast and diverse place. Also to embrace the differences in the world. Lofty goal I know.
We would go in mid June and don't want to have to rent a car for the whole month, maybe for a side trip. We would be open to weekend trips close by or overnight somewhere but would have one main place for the trip. We are open to big cities or rule countryside's or remote islands, just as long as it's a place where we can experience and live a different culture if only for a month.
I wanted to see if anyone has done a trip like this and get their thoughts. And wanted to get ideas of places that people think would be good for a trip like this.
I'm excited to hear any suggestions or advice people might have.
My suggestion is Italy partly because I love the country and partly because it is such a different culture. The Italian people are really friendly and proud of their art, culture, language, food, architecture etc. It is easy to become immersed in an area and also to travel, like the locals, by train. One of my favourite things to do is to buy a train ticket between cities and to stop off in a village I have never been to and have lunch, take a walk and check out a place I might otherwise not have seen. I spent some time based in Emilia-Romagna travelling around the area and also took day trips to Tuscany and Umbria discovering lots of little towns and villages. June is a lovely time to go. If you want to spend some time by the sea I suggest basing yourselves in Puglia which is like rural Italy dotted with some very interesting towns and amazing coastline. Your daughter might like some Italian cookery classes and you all might like to spend a week at a language school. You can arrange classes for an hour or two in the mornings, leaving afternoons free. There are often organised events, allowing you to meet new people in a social setting. I spent a couple of weeks in Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Milan which is very well run and there are schools in Florence Rome and Siena
You can book train tickets at each station and, to plan routes, take a look at www.seat61.com
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I'd like to make a suggestion, then explain my reasoning behind it.
Consider London for the adventure you described.
Since you've never done this before, London would provide one less hurdle than most other places. Being an English speaking city, the communication issue would only be a minor one. The accents and slang will still be just foreign enough for a first time immersion.
From London, all of England (as well as Scotland and Whales) are open to you for weekending. While there, Greenwich, Cotswold District, Lake, Cambridge (England), EdinburghBlackpool, and Wales countryside are just a train ride away.
Also, London's public transportation system makes a car unnecessary; while London's congestion makes a car a burden.
Between it's history, culture, food, museums, and pub scene, London is unmistakably unique.
Also consider that over half the inhabitants of London aren't English. They are mostly immigrants from Britain's former colonies. Which means that half the people of London are from all over the world. So your daughter will not only be exposed to English people, but people from Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the Middle East, and Africa.
If you are considering other immersion-type trips in the future, London would make a great starting point. It will definitely be easier than many others to manage the first time out. Also, with London under your belt, subsequent immersion trips will be more manageable.
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