Tips for surviving as a foreigner

Travel is a basic human desire. We’re a migratory species, even if our migrations are powered by jet fuel and Chicken nuggets. Travelling is an awesome experience which helps us get away from our everyday lives. Travelling broadens the mind as long as you make the effort to integrate. Here are a few basic tips to survive as a foreigner pretty much anywhere in the world. 



NUMBER ONE : Never look like the above!

2. Always have a good time.

3. Never say no to a drink.

4. Be polite.

5. Guard your passport with your life.

6. Learn the basics of the language at least how to say hello, please and thank you.

7. Don’t walk into a church on Sunday morning – Crashing Mass is never a good idea especially in a country where religion is an important part of society. So if you aren’t planning on going to Mass don’t plan to visit churches on a Sunday morning.

8. Never pay attention to the screaming lady on the other side of the street or waving tram drivers

9. Never try to drive like at home.

10. Do tour the place with a local person and spend time with locals. Don’t you just hate foreigners who come to your country and stay together? They just feel so at home when they’re not!

11. Do understand the layout of the city – public transport is one of the most important things to get yourself around a city- take notice of landmarks.

12. Do go on adventures to get the feel not only for the city but also for the people which constitute a large part of the city and can make your stay a success or not.

13. Always keep in contact with people who care – living in a new place is exciting and nice but sometimes – it happens to everyone even when you say it doesn’t – it’s just nice to feel cared for and that people are worrying about you. When going to a new place you will need some emotional support. Those are the people who can give it to you.

14. Don’t give your number to everyone and anyone – having had a few too many drinks isn’t an excuse.

15. Don’t be afraid of talking to people.

16. It’s fun to have a gimmick to make new friends. For example: playing an ukulele, fire dancing, perfecting a card trick, etc. You have the time, learn how to do something!

17. Invest in a comfortable pair of sandals.

18. Bored? People watch. Make up stories about strangers.

19. The world is smaller than you think.

20. Learn the tipping policies of whatever country you are in and adhere to them.

21. More smiling. Less bitching.

22. No matter where you go, the whole world can change but your home town will always stay the same.

23. Always have spare toilet paper with you.

24. Don’t be a chump, but generosity is a good trait.

25.Spending the day looking at street art can be just as rewarding as paying to visit a museum and will be much cheaper.

26. “Spicy” has different meanings in different countries.

27. Sometimes you have to embrace clichés.

28. Respect the elderly wherever you are.

29. It’s nice to have a fake wedding ring handy.

30. Drinking with locals is the best way to learn a new language.

31. Earplugs.

32. Never leave your bag unattended.

33. Research local laws. You never know what weird things may be illegal and/or frowned upon.

34. Don’t leave your purse on the table at the bar while you stumble to the bathroom with your friends.

35. No matter what your beliefs are, respect the local culture. You are a guest.

Polly Hodgkins

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