|With Raqy and Blanky, my Philippine friends in a taxi|
1. Know yourself.
Firstly think about the following before you travel. Are you open to new cultures? Are you flexible enough? Are you ready to make quick decisions? Do not worry if you do not answer yes to all. But be ready to face these questions during your trip. It's a life-time experience!
It is also an advantage if you know your strengths. Are you a master of communication? Do you have an adorable smile? Do you give the first impression to others as a super friendly person? Can you make a Plan B easily and quickly? You will get over difficulties with such skills :)
2. Know your destination.
When I travel to a new culture I tend to find out about the traditions and the culture of the country. Not only to survive culture shock, but also to create the ground for communication with local people. For example peopleappreciate if you know something about their history or their celebrity famous football player. Every culture has something special, for example the 5 things I've learned about Philippine people was totally different from what I've learned about Bolivia.
|With my tour guide, Carlos, at Lake Titicaca|
3. Plan flexibly.
It means that having plans give the feeling of safety. When I travel I plan how many days I would roughly stay at one place, and what are the top things I would like to visit. Though during traveling I also meet other travelers or locals, and it happened many times that I changed plans based on their recommendations. Once I even had to enter Peru instead of Bolivia because of football. Have plans, but leave space for changes.
4. Be as cautious as you would be at home.
Before traveling to faraway places many times I was frightened by rumors about the safety of the country. My family was freaking out. However and fortunately, these rumors proved to be false when I saw the place with my own eyes. Still! When I travel somewhere I respect the other culture and tend not to shine out from the crowd and show off to be a tourist. I act like as if I was at my own place. What it means? Stay modest. Stay at public places. Do not sit in the car of strangers. Be cautious about your belongings. Avoid being in abandoned places at night. Normally we do the same at home, right?
|With Mona in a bazaar in Cairo|
I know it's a cliché but I tell you what I mean. Sometimes I don't understand how people can stay in a hostel the whole day not talking with anyone. Of course, when I travel alone I am more cautious about who I talk with. It is fine to a certain extend. But there are always other travelers who are in the same shoes like me, who would be happy if they had someone to talk to. So I am always the one who takes the first step and initiate a talk. During a travel you can meet so many interesting people, exchange useful information, like how it happened to me during my flight from Hungary to Chile.
With all this in mind you can start training yourself for your travels. As you see from the pictures I always found "angels" who cared about me and helped me on the spot. Every adventure is different, though, and hopefully you can add some more tips to this list from your future experiences :)
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