Noted American author, James Michener, once said,
"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
This is a very important message to travelers. Try to make the journey as authentic as possible (even though there’s almost always some artificiality to travel because you are going to the tourist attractions which, by nature, are different from the normal life in the particular country). You can do this by trying some of the local cuisine, visiting some local establishments which are off the normal tourist routes, and learning the language enough to engage some of the residents in conversation in their native tongue. The whole experience will be much richer and you will end up with some understanding of the place.
You can increase the likelihood of an authentic experience by traveling on your own, not in a tour group, and driving yourself or taking public transportation wherever you go.