You can’t just jump in a saddle and expect to know how to ride a horse, how it will act or what it expects from you. So to with travelling. If you don’t know where you’re going, don’t go there!
Through all of my travels the biggest complaint I hear from the locals is, “Tourists don’t even know who we are!”
I personally make it a point to learn the customs and culture where ever I travel. It saves a lot of headache and heartache. I research pre-departure and immerse myself upon arrival. By this means I ensure I don’t, for example, fall in love with a person who lives in a place whose economy is based on tourism and later, all teary eyed through the airplane window, peer out and wonder why he is loving someone else who has just arrived in his country.
I don’t forget to return a favor or bring a gift to Cultures that practice social reciprocity such as Japan and Russia, I don’t shake with the wrong hand and insult my new found friend. Yes I can only learn so much before I go, but I try to learn everything once there. Because after all, how can I possibly enjoy my trip if I just piss everyone off out of lack of respect or ignorance.
There are 196 countries and millions of people just waiting to be understood, so let’s kick off our shoes and respectfully try on a pair of theirs!
May I refer you to this bloggers post….