If you’ve experienced these 8 things in life, you’re more cultured than the average person

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People often equate being “cultured” with being well-traveled – but there’s actually a wide gap between the two.

Because yes, traveling can make you cultured – but it’s not about the number of passport stamps, but about how you let your trips shape your perspective. 

In other words, it’s not just about where you’ve been, but also what you’ve learned and taken away from those places.

After all, being cultured is about having a deeper understanding of the world around us. And you don’t necessarily have to travel to a different continent to embody this. 

It could just be a result of you experiencing some of these 8 things in life. Let’s have a look at what they are. 

1) You’ve tried a variety of cuisines

Food is a gateway to culture. It’s more than just sustenance; it’s a reflection of a community’s history, geography, and values.

If you’ve tasted and appreciated a wide array of cuisines from around the world, it means you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone. You’ve broadened your palate, and by extension, your understanding of the world.

But being cultured isn’t just about eating exotic foods. It’s about understanding the context behind the dishes – the ingredients, the methods of cooking, and the traditions that accompany them.

Because anyone can scarf down a paella, but not everyone has the mindset to be curious about the story this dish tells.

If you listen attentively when the waiter tells you about the food, or have tried researching innovative recipes to try at home, then you’re likely more cultured than the average person. And that’s really something to savor.

2) You’ve lived in different places

In my personal experience, living in different places has been a game-changer. I’ve had the opportunity to call several cities home, each with its unique culture and way of life.

For example, when I moved to Barcelona from my small hometown, the shift from a slow-paced life to a bustling city was jarring, to say the least. But it was also incredibly enriching.

I learned to appreciate the beauty of diversity, the value of community spirit during the Saint day celebrations, and even the art of navigating through crowded streets during peak hours.

It’s not just about ticking off countries on a map. It’s about immersing yourself in a new way of life and letting it shape you. It’s about understanding that there’s no ‘right’ way to live, just different perspectives.

3) You learned to appreciate art from different eras and styles

Speaking of different perspectives, art appreciation is another sign that you’re more cultured than the average person.

You see, when you learn to appreciate art from different eras and styles, you’re not just filling your mind with images and facts; you’re opening up to a world of diverse perspectives, historical contexts, and creative expressions.

This broad appreciation can significantly enrich your understanding of the world and its varied cultures, making you more cultured than most.

Engaging with a wide range of art forms and styles—from the classical precision of Renaissance paintings to the disruptive vibrancy of modern abstract art—enhances your ability to see and appreciate nuances in all forms of expression.

This isn’t just about knowing your Monets from your Picassos. It’s about understanding why each piece was revolutionary in its time and how it speaks to universal human experiences across ages.

Moreover, this knowledge often leads to more profound social interactions and discussions. Being able to discuss various art forms and their cultural significance can make conversations richer and more engaging.

It reflects a deep-seated curiosity and respect for history and culture, qualities that are highly admired and respected in many social circles.

Thus, not only does this make you more cultured, but it also opens doors to new social and intellectual opportunities.

4) You’re comfortable with navigating cultural differences

Interactions with people from different cultures can be a complex dance. It involves understanding and respecting customs and norms that might be far removed from your own.

Whether it’s knowing not to use your left hand when passing objects in Middle Eastern cultures, or understanding the importance of punctuality in Germany, being able to navigate these cultural nuances speaks volumes about your cultural competency.

Being cultured isn’t just about knowledge, it’s also about adaptability. It’s about being able to step into another culture, respect its norms and values, and interact with its people in a manner that is respectful and considerate.

5) You’ve felt the transformative power of music

Music has a remarkable ability to transcend borders and languages. It’s a universal language that can touch the soul and connect people in ways that words sometimes can’t.

I’ve had moments where I’ve been deeply moved by a piece of music from a culture vastly different from my own.

A haunting Celtic melody, the resonating beats of African drums, or the soothing strums of a Spanish guitar – each has the power to evoke emotions and tell stories that resonate on a deeply personal level.

Being cultured goes beyond merely understanding different cultures – it’s also about feeling them. And music, in its universal appeal and emotive power, is a beautiful way to experience and connect with them.

6) You’ve started challenging your own beliefs

Want to know a huge sign of a cultured mind? Staying open to different perspectives and being willing to reassess your own beliefs.

It sounds simple, but for many people it’s very difficult to do. It takes maturity, empathy, and open-mindedness to acknowledge that there are many ways to see the world, and that our own perspective is just one of them.

I remember a time when I held certain views about success and happiness, molded by societal expectations and cultural norms. But over time, interactions with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures challenged these views.

I met individuals who measured success not by material wealth, but by the strength of their relationships or their ability to make a difference. I encountered cultures where happiness was not an individual pursuit, but a community endeavor.

These experiences shook my beliefs, but also enriched them. They taught me that there’s more than one ‘right’ way to live or think.

7) You’ve learned a second language

Have you learned, or are you currently studying another language? That’s another great sign of a cultured mind in the works.

If you answered yes, you have surely experienced this already – but learning a new language is far from just memorizing words and grammar rules. You also have to wrap your mind around a new way of thinking and seeing the world.

Each language has its unique nuances and idioms that reflect the culture it comes from. For example, in Spanish, “estar en las nubes” literally translates to “to be in the clouds”, but it means to daydream. This idiom gives us a glimpse into the poetic nature of Spanish culture.

Similarly, the very logical and rule-based structure of the German language strongly aligns with their culture and lifestyle. 

And of course, learning a new language also opens up avenues of communication with people from different cultures. It allows for deeper connections and mutual understanding.

So that’s two big reasons why taking the time and effort to learn a second language speaks volumes about your cultural sensitivity and curiosity.

8) You’ve seen past the allure of possessions

Some people may try to make a big show out of being “cultured” with expensive art or a vast library of books. And we can’t really blame them — society trains us to place a lot of importance on material wealth.

But the thing is, being truly cultured isn’t rooted in possessions. It’s based on valuing experiences that broaden your understanding and perspective of the world.

It’s about choosing to spend your money on a cooking class in Italy rather than a designer handbag, or opting for a local homestay over a luxury hotel to truly experience the culture.

These experiences enrich your life in ways material possessions can’t. They offer insights into different ways of life, challenge your preconceived notions, and create memories that last a lifetime.

It takes maturity to unlearn our societal conditioning and take on this mindset. But once you have, you know you’ve understood the essence of being cultured. And this is what truly sets you apart from the average person.

Final thoughts: It’s all about perspective

Culture is not a tangible thing; it’s a lens. A viewpoint that colors our understanding of the world and enriches our experiences within it.

Being cultured is more than just having knowledge about different cultures. It’s about openness, adaptability, and a curiosity to understand the unfamiliar.

The beautiful thing about being cultured is that it’s a journey, not a destination. Each experience, each interaction adds another layer to our understanding and appreciation of the world.

So if you’ve experienced these things in life, take a moment to reflect. Recognize the value of these experiences and the cultural richness they’ve added to your life.

And remember, being cultured is not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be, by expanding your perspectives and embracing diversity in all its forms.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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