We have used squatty potties in bathrooms where you can barely inhale. We have stayed in hotel rooms that made us want to cry but there is nothing … Nothing(!); not a damn thing that makes my skin crawl more than hearing or seeing one of my countymen misrepresenting. Lets just be honest on this page, you are representing your country when you travel. Right, Wrong or Indifferent – people will judge other Americans that they meet after you, based on your interactions with them. While you are traveling the world you are representing America, yo momma, your family, and your friends whether you like it or not. Deal with it. So, for the sake of travel etiquette here are some of Nomadic Wander’s Rules for Traveling The World:
10 Rules for Traveling Abroad
Never be the loudest person in the room.
- It automatically makes you the weakest person in the room/ in the souvenir shop/ on the train/ at the club… It also makes you a target and it advertises that “you haven’t been here before.” Don’t be brand new. Act like you’ve been there before and leave your American insecurities in the states. Confidence is quiet strength.
Wrap your damn toilet tissue!
- Clogged toilets and sewerage systems are major problems in many parts of the world. Yes, your toilet tissue could actually be the last element needed to cause a severe raw sewerage blockage. So please put on your international frame of mind and wrap it up! The repercussions could leave your bathroom floor decorated with raw sewerage.
Learn “Thank you”, “please” and “bathroom” before you jet off to another country. (Learn “How much” & “Have a good day.” 2B xtra)
- These phrases will help you meet people and show that you have invested a little time in learning to speak their language. Practicing these phrases with random people (like Uber drivers and other locals) also help them feel good about investing their time in you and giving you some extra information.
Drink what the locals are drinking.
- I enjoy sampling different alcohol the globe over. Lots of places for various reasons promote one liquor and indulge in another. Generally speaking, pay attention and do what you see the locals do not what they promote. You will fit in as a wise and experienced traveler.
Eat where you see pleasantly plump, older, well kept ladies eat.
- We are foodies! There I said it. We love to eat good regional food…..A LOT! Tourist traps are alluring with all of their pictures and wafting aromas coming in from kitchens. Unfortunately both of these factors can lie. I have also found that you cannot trust the reviews on Yelp or Trip Advisor. I mean they are both worth while but I find that a lot of tourist are happy with almost anything that is familiar. To experience the authentic culinary dishes of a region you will need to take some risks on a restaurant you don’t know. I have found a good way to minimize that risk is by finding restaurants where people are eating who look like they enjoy food as much as I do. Well fed, older women fit the bill, no rocket science here.
Be friendly and open with a grain of salt.
- Don’t allow people into your intimacy circle just because you are excited to be abroad. Be friendly with boundaries. No one comes back to my place of residence unless I hear from God … I’m not even lying. Shit happens and when it does you can walk away from it on the street or you can clean it from your home.
Speak, parlay, and engage with the locals… accept the invitation to lunch or dinner.
- An Uber driver invited my wife and I out for lunch and treated us to some of the best comfort food in our area. She told us about the cultural delicacies and their traditional dishes. It was an awesome evening and we still eat at the restaurant she introduced us to. #TillThisDay
Be fly #periodt
- Put on some clothes and leave the I❤️America and AC/DC shirt at home. I am not telling you you can’t dress down but fit in. While you are researching the restaurants and attractions of an area, why not research their style of dress so you don’t stand out as many American’s do.
Carry a small bag.
- Bring a fanny-pack/ backpack/ cross-body bag. They are good for impromptu trips you may need to make. If you are like me and are really having a good time, there is always that trip (within the trip) to another destination. They are also good for grocery runs, food to the movies, electronics to cafes…
Be self-aware and not self conscious.
- Being aware of yourself and the world around you while you are traveling allows you to have more fulfilling experiences. While, leaving your self-doubt, insecurities prejudices at home will also allow you to have a much more refreshing trip.