Living with locals in a village is one of those special accommodations that some nature oriented tours and travelers take to rest at night. If you haven`t tried resting in a local house yet, it is good to continue reading to know the essentials of staying as a guest in a village house and with locals.
a village in Semnan, Iran
You are a guest: it is true that you`ve paid for your stay, but you are still a guest and as a guest, you are not authorized to do whatever you want to. So as a good guest, have respect for the family you are living with.
Consider what you are wearing: Some cloth and fashion that count as normal in a city, might not be welcome in local areas and they might take it as a disrespect (specially in Iran and small places that sometimes are more traditional with such subjects).
Help with house work: If you have time and energy, you can help the family with house work. This way, you can get to know them better and feel more comfortable with each other.
Two locals in “Aftabdar” village, Qazvin, Iran
Break the Ice: Start talking with them. Ask about what they do for a living, how they prepare their delicious food and if they have any special tradition or ceremony. In the end, you will know a lot about them and you will have experiences that no book or app can deliver to you! They will also feel much better about you and they won`t see you as an alien among them.
Order, Order: as a guest, it is better not to mess with the order of the things in the house and move objects carelessly. You may think a simple local home have nothing special to mess with, but obeying simple rules and knowing some tips (such as taking off shoes before entering house, stand before an elder family member when he enters the house, or have compliments when you are about to eat lunch or dinner) could have a positive impact.
“Etan Village”, Qazvin, Iran
Cope with limitations: a rural House certainly has limitations. There may not be a hot water bath, or dinner is not what you have expected. Sometimes even there is no enough space to sleep and you may need to go to sleep in some tight place along with family members or other travelers (if you are going there with a tour).
have your personal items with you: since you are about to face limitations, it is better to bring your own personal accessories, grooming and slippers (for cases where the restrooms were out of the house and you are so tired to wear your shoes). Also, do not forget the sleeping bag!
Clean before leaving: no need to add a comment!
“Filband Village”, Iran
So…what`s the point?
The positive point about living with locals is that it can be a good opportunity for you to get familiar with culture of the people you are visiting. A culture that is much different from what you see in a big city. You can wake up early in the morning in a unique environment, have a walk and enjoy fresh air in nature. Also, if you are lucky, the family you are staying with may cook you some local dishes. Something that you can never experience again in somewhere else!