I’ve been traveling the world for almost 3 years now and here is what I’ve found most helpful along the way!
1. Eat Like Locals
My absolute FAVORITE thing to do is eat like a local. How do I do this? There are different ways - By getting out of your comfort zone! By asking strangers questions - use google translate if you have to. Ask fellow teachers! Word of mouth is generally the best way to find a great food spot. Another way to find food is to go exploring! Drive or walk around until you find a food spot & head in. Most likely you won’t find a tourist trap if you aren’t in a big city or see a lot of locals eating there.
2. How to have the Best Adventures
Embrace that plans are meant for changing! While I recommend always having a plan, don’t be afraid to change it. Plans make your life easier and get rid of the stress & anxiety. But if a fun adventure comes up along the way say YES! I guarantee that you won’t regret that decision. You will also get lost at some point. That itself is an adventure. For example, one day I was going to the beach for sunset and ended up getting lost trekking through sand dunes while being taught about constellations for hours. It is one of my favorite memories! Getting Lost = an adventure of a lifetime!
3. Be Respectful of the Culture
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS research the culture beforehand. Just learn the do’s and don’ts in the country. For example, in Thailand, the do’s include dressing properly, taking off your shoes, and learning a few words in Thai. The don’ts include being disrespectful, making fun of someone, or speaking ill of the King or Royal Family.
4. Plan B
Having a ‘Plan B’ is always a good idea. This plan is a backup for when things go wrong. You might never need to do this but you should definitely prepare just in case. Here are my ‘Plan B’ tips: Always have some backup cash hidden on you or in your belongings. Make sure you have copies of all of your important documents - passport, visa, driver’s license, birth certificate or social security number. Store these in a separate place from your originals. I would also make another copy to leave with a trusted family member or friend back at home.
Always use caution on Public Transportation. Why? Because I have met a lot of people who have gotten their wallets, passports, purses.. etc. taken on public transportation. Make sure you have it out of reach from people. Petty crimes happen all over the world and public transportation is a MAJOR target for tourists. Just be cautious and have situational awareness.