As a 19 year old whose never been backpacking before but plans on in the very near future I have some questions to hopefully get the most out of my experiences. I'd love to hear personal experiences as well in regards to my questions: (my questions aren't country specific because my backpacking plan involves going everywhere!)
1. What's the best way to interact with locals? I plan on getting in touch with people via Couchsurfing and maybe seeing if anybody is willing to show me around or at the very least give me some idea of the place they live and what to do and where to eat. I'll also ask other travellers/hostel owners. But are there any other good ways to really get a feel for the culture and speak to the people there. My language skills aren't great but I do plan on learning languages for the countries I visit.
2. What's the best length of time in one city generally? My aim is to spend atleast 1 week in each place I visit (excluding any day trips).
3. Another big reason to travel is for all the food so I plan using the same methods in question 1 but to find information on where is good to eat to get an idea of the local culture. Obviously eating plenty of streetfood is a good idea but I also want to know about some more high-end restaurants which are still local. Also, in places where street food isn't as big a deal (e.g. European countries), I still want to be eating local food.
Thanks in advance.