8 Ways to Become More Cultured

By Jenn Rose Smith

Do you have a friend you admire for being cultured? Our director of partnerships, Landrie, is one of those people for me. She has all the boxes checked: Well Traveled. Well Read. Well Spoken. Informed. Curious. Gracious, and with a healthy sense of humor. With our busy modern lives, it’s truly a marvel when anyone develops themselves in so many areas. (I think it helps that her dad is an artist!) But the rest of us aren’t necessarily locked into being basic forever — there are easy ways we can become more well-rounded, cultured women. Read on for eight quick ideas that will have you feeling more cultured by the end of the week.

Watch better movies. 

Let’s start with an easy one. You don’t have to stop watching movies and television altogether to become more cultured — all you have to do is push yourself to watch better content. Why not start with our list of 15 must-see documentaries?

Seek friends of different ages and backgrounds.

Look around you — do all the people you spend time with look exactly like you in terms of age and race? Cultured people know that cultivating a diverse group of friends is a natural way to broaden one’s life experience.

Learn a second language.

If there’s one glaring reason Americans can seem crass to others, it’s probably that most of us don’t speak any language but English. Why not try learning a second language this year? You might be surprised — language is key to understanding the heart of another culture.

St. Augustine famously said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

So here’s your most fun assignment for becoming more cultured: once a year, go somewhere new.

Visit a local museum.

You knew this one was coming… and for good reason! So many of who are good about visiting museums in foreign cities are actually quite negligent about checking out the assets in our own home towns. Pick a Saturday and spend an hour exploring a local art or history museum. You’ll be delighted at what you discover.

Venus at Vulcan’s Forge by François Boucher at the Kimbell Art Museum

Attend a live performance.

We’re living in The Golden Age of Television, so it’s hard to see why we should seek out entertainment beyond binging on Stranger Things. But there’s something very special about seeing a play, musical, or any type of live performance in a theater. You’ll find that a night at the theater is a very special experience you share with the performer. It’s really one of the best things in life. Go — you’ll be surprised at how much fun you have.

(We’re dying to see The Book of Mormon.)

Read one classic novel a year.

You don’t have to stop reading New York Times Bestsellers (hey, we loved the Bethenny Frankel autobiography as much as you did) but why not challenge yourself to pick up one classic book per year? Start with the Americans: Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Twain. You just might enjoy it.

Challenge yourself to shop smarter.

No — we’re not talking about finances. When we say shop “smarter” we mean this: push yourself as a consumer to go beyond the big box options. Educate yourself about where products are made and make ethical choices as a consumer. Especially when it comes to home furnishings, you’ll cherish the treasures you find in antique stores and flea markets — especially if the vendor shares a unique story or history about the item.