Vagabonding is not for everyone. In fact, some feel that the whole
hassle of traveling is less than inspiring, and the comforts of home beckon far
your perspective and begin to introduce some journeying into your current lifestyle?
Could you make
this easier on yourself?
Here are some useful points to consider making
your travel experience less bumpy and more appealing. There
is no right or wrong to taking an excursion, but adopting these suggestions will support
you in having more pleasant memories instead of struggling day-to-day with your
No place is like home and you are a guest in their country
One of the major reasons for leaving the familiar is to expand one’s
perspective. No place is just like home, and that’s why you are visiting.
The food is different, the weather, the plants, the customs, the clothing styles –
all sorts of things. Immerse yourself into the new and enjoy. Relax. And remember, you are a guest in someone else’s country.
Be open about food
At home you can have all sorts of comfort foods in your favorite
flavors and spices. You may be used to huge salads, huge steaks, favorite
pizzas, gluten free pastries, vegan dishes or perhaps you enjoy a hamburger from
a fast food joint from time to time.
When you travel,
options will probably be different
than when you are at home. The best way to tackle this facet of your
journey, is to stay open to what is being offered. Try new things. You don’t
have to love all that is put on your plate. Just realize that if everything were
just like home, you might as well not have left.
Unless you are staying months at a location (in which case you
might make other arrangements for getting the food you desire), suck it up,
don’t complain to those around you (who are probably also adjusting) and move
forward. You have eaten thousands of meals in your lifetime. The few that you
will be eating on your travel excursion is a small percentage of your eating
We have a saying: “Order what you want, and eat what you get. No
Learn some survival phrases
If you are going to a foreign country where the language is
different from your own, plan ahead. Learn a few survival phrases like “please,”
“thank you,” “bathroom,” “where is,” and “how much.” There are lots of
translation apps available these days to put on your phone, or take advantage of
World Nomads language apps
to learn some useful phrases.
Bring a calculator to bargain at markets. Even if you do not
speak the native language, all vendors “speak calculator.” Know the
currency exchange of where you are to your home currency. Break it down into easy amounts
to remember like how much is 10, or 50, or 100 of your currency to theirs so
that it makes sense to you and you don't lose track of what you are spending.
This adorable companion is ready to go!
Leave your pets at home
I know, I know, more people are
traveling with their pets
more than ever before. It’s practically sacrilegious to
suggest finding a
pet sitter and leaving them at home while you are out visiting
foreign locales. And the comfort that pets bring to everyday life is
immeasurable; they are an emotional touchstone and dispel loneliness while on
If you want to bring your pet, realize that you will be paying
more for your flight, more for your hotel room, and that you may not want to
leave your pet for hours at a time in your hotel room while you go gallivanting
around your exotic location. You must measure the comfort your animal brings to
you against the constrictions on your freedom and wallet. Also you must realize
that you may not be able to bring your pet on buses, to certain restaurants or to social
events. Not all countries treat pets as family members and this could be a
source of stress to you.
This is an article on easing your travel experience and having an
animal accompany you complicates matters.
Limit your needs
There is a difference between want-to-haves and need-to-haves. If
you have a bad back or cannot climb stairs those are needs that must be catered
to. If you would prefer a hotter shower, faster internet or sunnier weather,
well, bend a
little. Take it in stride. This is all part of the travel
experience and being a bit bendable and accepting goes a long way.
If this is your
yearly vacation on which you are spending a
fortune, it’s completely understandable that you would want things to be more to
your liking. But if this is a journey, not a vacation, then this travel
excursion naturally has different parameters to it.
Of course, you can be fussy and ruin your time abroad, or be
adjustable and move through it. You’ll have stories to tell when you return home
and that is priceless.
Leave your politics at home
know the people you argue with at home? Well, those kinds of people travel also.
No matter where you are on the political spectrum, if you try to push your
platform it can become an uncomfortable situation. You may miss out on a
friendship if you require that everyone agree with you.
Politics is a blood sport, and if you are looking for ease of travel, it's best
to live and let live. Focus on the quantity of things you have in common, and
resist trying to convert someone or calling them names. It doesn't work at home
and it won't work on the road.
Additionally, if you see a public political rally or procession, get out of the
line of fire. These things can become volatile and it's best to remove yourself
from the area. Besides, you are a visitor in these countries. Be gracious.
Water taxi service we utilized in Belize
Be flexible with your schedule
Unless this is a long dreamed-of vacation where you have a list
of museums, archeological sites, concerts, restaurants, and vineyards that you
absolutely must visit because they are on your bucket list, be flexible with
Take your time doing the small stuff, go slow and
let the action come to you. Have
a cappuccino at a local cafe, look down the tiny streets and in the individual
shops. Make friends with the vendors. Have a free morning to take a walk in your
neighborhood, or a free afternoon for a delicious nap. Every hour of your day
does not have to be filled up. Perhaps you might run across a two day cooking or
painting class or find out that there is a yoga group meeting twice a week. If
you have your schedule completely filled up, you might not be able to allow
something wonderful to come in and gift your day.
Keep your travel clothes versatile
Yes, we know that your wardrobe at home is fabulous, fashionable
and attractive. But bringing clothes that require delicate washing, continuous
pressing, or would destroy you if they became stained or ripped just isn’t
practical. Bringing garments that are easy to wash/dry and are versatile to
combine with other outfits will keep you from worrying about something so basic
and every day. Unless you are at the beach with hot and humid weather, prepare
to layer your clothing for warmth. Limit the number of shoes you carry (they
are so heavy!) and be sure you pack comfortable footwear for walking.
Besides, you could shop for some local clothes. It’s fun and adventurous. No one at home
will have them.
If you can, and if time allows, get involved with something
local. There might be a parade, a volunteer project, a class, a concert, a walking or
tasting tour. Get a sense of where you are and revel in it. Allow it to
contribute to your life in some way.
Open up. Look beyond tourist hotspots.
All this good stuff and now for a few words on practicalities.
Wash your hands often. It’s your first line of defense to prevent yourself from
getting sick. Different locations have different bacteria, even if the place is
clean. If you utilize public transport or if you have shaken hands with someone,
be sure to clean your hands often. Carry baby wipes if necessary, or use hand
Put together a small doc box with antibiotics, special creams,
sinus pills, some Imodium and the like. Your emergency kit doesn’t have to be
huge, but in this way you will have some basic items to bring comfort to you in
a foreign location.
Make copies of your passport, birth certificate, travel
documents, medications that you take and an emergency contact number. Carry the
list of medications and emergency number in your wallet, and the travel
documents separate from your originals.
If you are bringing a computer, kindle, notebook, or any sort of
digital device, don’t keep your passwords and financial account codes saved on
them. If you lose your digital device and your codes are easily obtainable, you
are definitely in trouble.
Bring a debit card and a charge card from different accounts. If
for some reason your account becomes frozen or you lose a card, then you have
another source of obtaining money.