1: Using Public Bathrooms
Nothing says seasoned traveller like the ability to use a toilet globally. From the robot defecation disposal units in Japan, to a crudely dug trench in a Nepalese field. If you want to travel you need to get over a shy bladder, and learn that in some countries you will be sitting in a communal bathroom.
While using perfectly good paper to wipe ones arse may be the norm in the western world, many other nations can’t see the point in spending money on s*** paper and still use a bucket of water and a hand. Check out this Blog about how to use a no-paper toilet (wipe with you hand!)
Top Tip: Make sure in your bag permanently is a supply of toilet paper and wet wipes – never expect any toilet to supply it, especially in asia.
2: Sleeping with Strangers
Dorm rooms are weird places. Many first time travellers are completely unaware of how others spend their nocturnal hours, and the activities they get up to!
From farting to fornicating, snoring to sleep-walking, life in a room with strangers can be a steep learning curve even for long term travellers. While it’s not all doom and gloom a good statistic to keep in mind is that one in five people snore, meaning in a 16 bed dorms odds are you will be surrounded by an orchestra of throaty mouth organs.
Do yourself a favour and make sure you pack an eye mask and ear-plugs at a minimum. For a more in-depth look at getting over this one see the Sleeping in Dorms Travel Tips.
3: Sleeping in Airports
The super cheap flights aren’t going to be at lunchtime so you need to get over sleeping in Airports.
If you are travelling the world you will spend at least a few nights ‘saving on accommodation’ in an airport check in lounge, spooning your back pack, lying on the ground and more than likely getting woken by the cleaners as they mop around you.
The biggest thing to overcome is the self-fulfilling prophecy that is ‘I can’t sleep on/in __________’.
People that say this are their own worst enemy. For some it’s the safety factor, for others it’s the comfort factor. SLEEPING IN AIRPORTS website will help, giving the best sleeping locations, food, wi-fi, and safety level of most major international/transit airports globally.
4: What Things Cost Compared To Home
People that constantly, and loudly, vocalise the converted price of an item stand out more than an American tourist wearing a the star-spangled banner as a cape chanting ‘Merica.
What you will have to get over is that even with the internet and globalisation the price of things changes country to country and constantly converting it back to your home currency wont make it any cheaper.
Things cost what they cost.
While you might not understand, pricing is based on many many factors such as taxes, local wage costs, import costs, manufacturing costs, and general historical factors of each country.
Example: A coffee in Italy will set you back a euro, the equivalent quality coffee in Melbourne Australia will cost you six dollars and your first-born child. The reason is to do with import taxes on the beans, the fact that the minimum wage in Australia is nearly double that of Italy, and finally hipsters are surprisingly savvy business people in some instances and overcharge.
5: You Are Not At Home: GET OVER IT!
Just because you do something a certain way in your home country does not mean it is necessarily how its done everywhere. The sign of a bad tourist is one that tries to impose their way on a foreign system and wondering why they are having a bad time.
This is especially true when it comes to food. If you order a western dish in asia then expect it to taste different from home. How do you think italians feel when they come to the US and order pizza, while its’ technically similar its not what they would call pizza.
The English have to get over queuing – it’s just not a thing in most Asian countries learn to embrace the crush of people.
Australians have to get over tipping – Nowhere else in the world pays fast food workers $17.00per hour. It’s not hard just add 10-17% to a bill and now you have ensured your waiter/waitress/guide/taxi driver/busker can eat tonight.
Americans have to get over money being different colours, sizes, and not notes – the rest of the world has been doing it, in most cases, longer than you. Just accept it it and move on. Coins are better because they cost less in the long run, the money is different sizes so they can be identified quickly, same goes for the colour.
Canadians have to get over being mistaken for Americans, and that Tim Hortens is not a thing anywhere but Canada – it is painful I know but you can get your fix when you get home.
In The End
If everywhere was the same there would be no point ever travelling. By embracing the differences, getting over that you’ll probably have to sleep in strange places, eat strange food, and go to the bathroom in alternate ways then you can truly call yourself a travel pro.