The milestone of being in
We've learned a lot about each other, ourselves,
2. Always bring a towel. What works for Arthur Dent works for you, too. OK, maybe not literally a towel, but a washcloth is often handy when traveling. So's a travel clock – I've encountered very few hotels/B&Bs that have clocks in the rooms. Ladies, always pack a light (or heavy) pashmina, unless you're going to a beach, then make it a sarong. Toss an umbrella into the suitcase, too. I could go on – perhaps I'll stop here and revisit in a later post.
3. Learn a bit of the local language. Always try to learn how to say hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me (often different words to get someone's attention or if you, say, knock down an old lady), I'm sorry (also helpful for aforementioned old lady), I don't speak English, and two beers, please.
4. Learn the tipping standards. The
5. Invest in good shoes. Self explanatory.
6. Try the local food. OK, you don't have to eat snails. But find out what the local specialties are and try them.
7. Value personal recommendations over guidebooks. Find someone who's gone to the city you've gone to and get their recommendations. Guidebooks excel at making places sound absolutely amazing; if you only follow those recommendations, you're guaranteed some disappointments.
8. Watch people. Take time out from racing around and sightseeing to just take in your surroundings and observe the locals.
9. Don't assume that because you and they speak English that they will understand you.
10. Simple meals from a market can rival the best meal from a restaurant.
11. Pay at least the tiniest bit of attention to football (soccer); it will provide endless hours of conversation.
12. Eat bread in
13. When driving, you can always keep going around a roundabout.
14. You don't have to buy new. New furniture, new electronics, etc. Be an environmentalist: Repair things and buy second hand to reduce junk.
15. Watch British quiz shows. You won't understand a lot of things, but you get insight into humor and history.
16. Cycling is awesome, particularly in very flat areas.
17. Friends and family are just a plane flight/phone call/e-mail/IM away. The distance can be hard, but all these things make it much more bearable.