The way you conduct yourself in a foreign land can have an impact on your experience there and leave an impression on those you meet.
7 awesome ways to represent your country when you travel
When you travel you are representing your country whether you acknowledge it or not. Here's how you have a wholesome travel experience.
Travel and leisure have a lot to do with hospitality; being hospitable and enjoying a hospitable environment. However, each country has its set of cultural and traditional values regarding how people behave and other boundaries.
We have put together seven tips for travel etiquette.
1. You're a guest but they are not your host
Be respectful and culturally sensitive and this will save you from having any expectations on how you are treated. The country you are visiting is not your host, so don't expect anyone, apart from those you are visiting or are traveling with, to treat you like a guest.
Some locals don't like travelers while others are friendly. Deal with hostility respectfully as you deal with hospitality. Walk away from one situation and express gratitude in the other.
2. Don't boast about your home country
Comparison is the thief of joy, so keep the comparisons and bragging away from your experience in the country you are visiting. It is okay to be shocked by the uniqueness of each culture but avoid pointing this out. Rather, immerse yourself in diversity and novelty. Whether or not your country is better is highly subjective and unnecessary to point out.
3. Don't make language assumptions
You may also be shocked to find that the people you meet don't speak any of the languages you know. Small phrases like “excuse me”, “hello”, and “thank you” can help you a lot if you learn to use them in native languages. The locals will appreciate your efforts and may be more inclined to help you.
4. Ask questions
People LOVE to share information about their country. This can be history, geography, or customs, so you are assured a wealth of knowledge if you ask questions. Your curiosity and genuine interest can be contagious and memorable for the locals. You might even get more information from one question than you would if you had researched.
5. Share your knowledge
If people show interest in your country, share what you know. Regale them with as many stories as you can which can be a fun way of reconnecting with your country. You may also know things about their country that they don't know, share that information with them and make conversation.
Part of the experience of travel is to listen. You open yourself to the world and experiences in your destination and listening is part of the way to absorb experiences. You will find people all over your destination with different points of view than where you come from. Rather than rushing into arguments and debates, listen to their opinions.
7. Refrain from getting upset
There's bound to be some friction when you are in an environment you are not accustomed to and that is not accustomed to you. You might even be overwhelmed by the differences and structures. But calm your anxiety and nerves by remembering that you are only there for a little while. You will most likely never see the people, mannerisms, and environment ever again, so focus on enjoying it.
Whether you follow these tips or not is not only about representing your country, it is also essential to enjoying your visit. The locals will remember you for your personality but also your country. Whether or not you acknowledge being a representative, you will be contributing to the foreign footprint of your people.
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: