If I came into your home and complained that the food was terrible, the place is not that nice and you aren’t very bright, then you would throw me out and be justified.
So why do so many people travel to another country and complain about everything. I recently witnessed a gentleman complain to his wife about everything he perceived as wrong with the city and country he was visiting. The people are lazy, the place is dirty and no one from here could possibly be as cultured and civilized as this moron. My question is “Why are you here?”
Yes when you travel to another country things are different. What a shock! Do me and everyone else a favor. If you’re going to complain about everything save yourself some money and make everyone happy. Stay at home. But for those willing to experience something different then by all means dive right in. Now I will be the first to admit that I might be a little picky when it comes to certain foods. I am not Andrew Zimmern. That guy puts things in his mouth that I wouldn’t touch. But a little adventure goes a long way. In fact one of the things I like most about traveling is experiencing new things and different cultures.
So here are a few guidelines:
1.You’re not in Kansas anymore.
After all you wanted to travel and see new things. If you want to feel at home then stay home.
2. Be polite.
Most people like tourists that are polite. Just because they are waiting on you or checking you in at the hotel doesn’t make you better than them. A little courtesy goes a long way.
3.Don’t be that guy or gal
Don’t get loud, falling down drunk or just plain stupid. You’re not that funny.
4. Talk to people.
Yeah I know, strange concept. Some of the best conversations I have had were with taxi drivers, people I met in a restaurant or while waiting in line for something.
5.Not everyone speaks English
Don’t get mad when they don’t understand you. You want to make sure you’re understood, learn the language.
6.Explore a little
Get off the beaten path. Take the side street and you might find that great shop or restaurant. Of course don’t do it at 2am when you’re drunk, not only could it be dangerous, well…see #3.
7.It’s not all hot dogs and hamburgers
If you eat something you don’t like, don’t spit it out and yell “disgusting”. Pull your big boy pants up drink something to shake off the taste and move on. After all I am sure you eat things others would call disgusting. No? Think about it.
8. Do more than visit a place, experience it
Take the time to learn a little about the culture, language, food, habits. Not only will it make your stay more enjoyable but it helps in really interacting with your country’s hosts. You just might come away with that great story to bore everyone for years to come.
9 Keep the blood pressure down
If the train doesn’t come on time, the waiter takes a little longer than you’re used to or the power goes out, which happens a lot in some countries, then so what. You’re on vacation, relax it will be okay.
10. Don’t complain and whine
Don’t keep saying “the trouble with this place is….…” chances are the trouble is you. So if your hear yourself saying that go back to #1 and re read the list.
What are your comments or is there something that really ticks you off? Let me hear about it.
Samuel Getaneh Bogale says
Interesting. Thanks for sharing. You learn something new every day!
Thanks for stopping by
#9 Might be the most salient point. We often forget that traveling is supposed to be fun! It’s nice to put that into perspective.
I agree, it’s easy to get frustrated until you remember “Hey I am on vacation”. I see people get frustrated all the time with not being able to be understood, or service not being what they are used to. Relax, have fun and come away with a great story to tell. Thanks for stopping by
Family Travels on a Budget says
Excellent post! We visited Paris recently and quickly noticed a difference in experience between those who embraced the culture and those who didn’t. A great attitude is an essential travel item for everyone! Other people will appreciate it and so will your travel mates!
Absolutely, wherever I go I try to enjoy myself and get to know a place. Sure, things happen that aren’t always planned or even pleasant but so what, they make great stories to tell your friends.
Adventurous Andrea says
I absolutely agree with number one!
Wow… this is EXACTLY why me and some friends made http://www.mealsharing.org Exactly all these reasons. It’s so right! Get to know people when you’re traveling. You can learn so much about the spirit of another city or country just by talking to the locals. Even if it’s just one person’s perspective on their own country, it will change your view of it. “It turns places you’ve gone to, into people you’ve met”. With the site we strive to enable travelers to share home cooked meals with locals. It won’t be a gourmet culinary experience, it will be the opportunity of sharing a slice of every day life with someone, to connect over a simple, home made meal.
And to get the most out of it… all the tips in this article are so on point!
This is my kind of article, fantastic write-up Bob! I love your opening paragraph. It is so true, I don’t know why people travel to complain. I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points even to number 10. Reminds me of a quote, “There are no foreign lands, it is the traveler who is foreign.” Thanks for writing with some grit!
Thanks Andy, I originally wrote this piece after witnessing a guy at a cafe that was degrading everything and everyone around him. He was making life terrible for all the locals there. I guess he thought he was someone special. I am usually pretty mellow but he got on my nerves. Shortly after I walked over and told him to shut up, he left.