5 do’s and don’ts for traveling abroad
1. Your research
The last thing you want to do when you are living or traveling in a foreign country is offend the locals, trust us. Take some time before you go abroad to google culture norms for country you are about to go to – we are very confident you will be glad you did.
2. Learn the language
Learning how to say hello and thank you in the local language goes so much farther than you can imagine. The more you learn of the language before you go, the more comfortable you will feel. If a simple greeting and pleasantry is all you can handle, the locals will appreciate it!
3. Try the food
Really though, just try it. Unless you have an allergy – don’t ask, just try it. The look, smell and taste of ethnic food might be totally different than what you are accustomed to, but don’t let that stop you! A dumpling in China, tapas in Spain, and curry in Thailand is nothing like you have ever had before. Give the strange looking dishes a try too, and ask what they are after you taste them. You never know until you try!
4. Disconnect from the internet
It is no secret that we are all addicted to Social Media today, and there is nothing wrong with that. We are not suggesting you don’t share your pictures, videos, and blogs with your friends and family back home – just don’t spend all your time abroad behind technology. Be in the moment, experience what is happening around you and just enjoy it!
5. Make local friends
If you want to know what life is really like in Chile, who better to show you than a Chilean friend? You are living abroad for a reason – practice your language skills, cooking abilities, and immerse yourself in the country you are in by surrounding yourself with the locals as often as you can.
1. Over pack
You can buy things abroad! Some items might be hard to find abroad: deodorant, ibuprofen/vitamins or your favorite spices should make it in your suitcase, but leave the extra pair of uncomfortable shoes at home. Regardless of your budget, you will find things to bring home with you, and you will need the room in your suitcase for those items – trust us!
2. Stick to your plan
Following a pre-planned agenda is boring! Having a plan is fine, but be prepared and on the lookout to stray from it. If you see a cool alley, building, café – throw your schedule away and check it out. The best part about traveling is bumping into things you didn’t even know existed. Embrace it!
3. Say no to (almost) anything
Isn’t stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things what traveling abroad is about? You won’t do either of these things if you say no to opportunities. Unless it is dangerous in any way, definitely say yes and do it.
4. Expect the locals to cater to you
This might be the most important don’t of traveling. Are you expected to know everything about every country you visit? Absolutely not. However, when you are in another country, you should (and want to) adapt to the culture you are so lucky to see. Remember, it is not the local’s responsibility to adapt their daily life to make you comfortable, it is your responsibility to understand enough to make yourself acclimatize to the culture you’re visiting.
5. Have regrets
No matter what you do, enjoy every second of your time abroad. Will things go wrong? Probably. Will you get ripped off somehow? Maybe. At the end of the day, your memories should and will be the positive ones.