Cindy has never left the country. Once, she left the comfort of her home in Long Island to go to on a city adventure and was mortified by the NYC subway system. She could nearly smell yesterday’s dinner on the shirt of the man that stood next to her on the train. Once their hands touched while holding the pole. She shivered; he smiled. He had gold teeth.
Her lack of adventure and experience abroad has now caught up with her. When her parents presented her with a ticket to China, she was expecting an adventure. Instead, what she got was constant yelling. Why are locals so mad about her coming out of a bar hopelessly drunk? She did it all the time in Long Island…
Don’t be the obnoxious tourist. Here are 5 Don’ts for when you go around the world:
1. Don’t touch everything
I mean it. Once I went to a temple in Thailand and my friend touched every statue inside. I understand that the statues were cute, but you didn’t seem so fascinated with statues back when you were home.
2. Don’t assume everyone knows English
No matter how loudly you yell it or slowly you speak it, English is not the official language of every country. Try picking up some key phrases you need to get around. A guidebook can help too.
3. Don’t be disgusted by local food
Did you really expect to eat a cheeseburger and fries every night you are away? One of the best parts of traveling is eating – heck; one of the best parts of life is eating. Try something new.
4. Don’t call things “weird” or “strange”
You think it’s so strange that everything is so small in other countries. Or maybe you’re used to cars as your main form of transportation. Scooters are weird. Carriages are weird. Rafts are weird.Typical tourist.
5. Don’t be American
Take this with a grain of salt. I’m American and I love America, but we all know Americans don’t have the best reputation abroad. We can be loud and a little bit too patriotic. To avoid offending someone, you better do some research before going to a country. What you might think is a friendly, neighborly gesture can actually be super offensive.
There you have it folks – how to travel and not be yelled at. Follow these tips and you’ll hopefully have better luck than Cindy.