A long time ago, a friend of mine planned a trip around the world with his girlfriend. They had been high school sweethearts before breaking up, only to find each other again at university. Everything seemed written in the stars. The trip was going to take two months, I’m told, and would have involved highlights such as scuba diving in Malaysia and learning to dance the Haka in New Zealand. But she changed her mind. Super last minute. She thought things were moving too fast. And my poor friend was left with the urge to travel and nothing but a stack of canceled plans. So, he pulled his socks up, he booked some more flights and some more accommodation, and he went alone.
When he returned, I asked him everything. He had been through mostly good experiences, and some bad (like experiencing an injury that saw him hospitalized for a day due to a slippery surface in the hotel lobby – he got no compensation, so I’d just like to point out here that you can contact a slip and fall lawyer in Tampa, FL if you have been affected by something similar). Here are his two top tips.
A smile is universal. But as far as cultural indicators of emotion go, that’s your lot. My friend told me a story of needing to buy allergy pills in Spain. When he asked a local if he knew where the nearest pharmacy could be found, the old man responded by holding his knee with one hand and pointing to his eye with the other, whilst waiting for an answer. A kindly onlooker said that the old man was trying to confirm that my friend needed a pharmacy or doctor. There are certain things your guidebook won’t cover – always research cultural differences to ensure a smooth experience.
Roaming with electronics
Specifically, we are talking about phones. Now, we all know that we may need an adapter to charge our phones while on foreign soil. It’s no huge disaster if you forget to bring one – hotels and local shops will provide the required electronic equipment for a small fee. No biggy. But what is not always considered to be worthy of research and preparation is roaming data charges. Speak to your carrier service before you leave and get the best advice over how to avoid or minimise charges. When you land and you need a map on your phone or a taxi number, this is one tip you’ll be glad you listened to.