As much as I hate to admit it, travel isn’t some crazy free-for-all kind of activity. We all know it. Us travelers/tourists/expats/lone-wolves/etc. all have some common understanding as to what we can and cannot get away with. And that’s okay. Really.
I mean, I truly hope that all of us understand that we can’t do whatever the hell we want wherever we are. It’s just not a nice thing to do. If we had that kind of privilege, the world would probably be a much different (maybe interesting?) place to be.
I tend to get embarrassed easily when I’m traveling with someone who doesn’t understand the unspoken commandments of travel. I’ve touched on this a little bit last week. When others don’t know these rules, it can set off the balance of any trip.
Let me tell you something. Don’t be that person. Please. Don’t screw up the natural balance of the universe. But if you do think you’re that person, I’m here to tell you that you’re not doomed to be a severe embarrassment for the rest of your travels. I’m here to help.
I’m here for YOU.
Let’s begin, shall we?
1. Take lots of pictures, but don’t make me want to rip the camera out of your hands. I love pictures. I’m notorious for taking too many pictures no matter what I’m doing. But even when sober, my picture taking is out of control. If it’s not a camera in my hands, its my phone. And let me tell you something. Taking a lot of pictures is a good thing. I’ve taken just one picture too many times of just one thing and looked at it later disappointed it was blurry or accidentally turned to the “selfie” option (what a self-esteem-crushing thing, by the way). So snap away, really. But if you stop in front of me or if your camera blocks my view of literally anything I’m currently looking at, even if it’s not actually important, you’ve already made me hope that a seagull grabs it right out of your hands. Nobody likes it when their experiences are being interrupted. It’s like that girl with the stupid mile-high teased hair that sat in front of you in class that made you want to bring a razor to class with you for next time. Just don’t do that. Please.
2. Always bring a versatile wardrobe if you plan on doing versatile things. I’m guilty. I’M SO GUILTY. I’m trying to warn you so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Pick the wrong shoes and your feet will probably fall off. Wear cargo shorts in a nice restaurant and you’re my dad (love you!). I’m just trying to help you, here. One time, my boyfriend and I went to a niiiice restaurant in a touristy neighborhood. I’m thinking, “tourists love sandals” and when I walk in, they’re all in fancy clothes and heels and jackets. I wanted to kill myself. I’ve never felt so out of place and sloppy than that moment. I’m pretty sure that the hostess almost told us there would be no tables available (in an empty restaurant) because of my clothing. It’s not like I was dressed badly. I had cute shoes. I could have fit right into a nice brunch, but dim the lights a little and serve “fish of the day” and all of a sudden I’m Bill Murray. Just pack nice clothes. And boots that are made for walking. That’s all I’m trying to say.
3. Stop texting/tweeting/posting/trivia-cracking. Experience where you are. Be present. You can do that during bathroom-breaks or at the hotel. My parents used to tell me this on vacation when I was younger, and now I get it. There’s so much around you, and you’re busy checking out the (more glamorous than yours) life of Marnie the Dog. Shut it all down. Keep it to take pictures, sure (see First Commandment). But you can share your “LOL OMG YOLO” moments later.
Take these as you will, just know I’ve broken all these rules plenty of times. I’m not proud, but LOL YOLO I’m human.
What are some other things you would advise while embarking on your travels? Comment below!
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