I have always had a deep, burning passion for travel. My first foray into this world was in 2006, when I decided to pull up stakes and move to Japan to teach English. Ever since then, I have gone abroad any chance I could. My freelance writing career allows me to work wherever I want, and in the last 2.5 years, I have spent a mere 10 weeks in the states.
International travel is at the same time, exciting and kind of stressful, and negative experiences and emotions are inevitable at some point when spending time in a foreign country; but we do not want to give them the power to ruin our good time and leave us with a sour impression of our destination. While I am not the most traveled person there is, I have been around enough to have learned a thing or two that greatly ease my travel stresses. I hope to impart some of this knowledge in this post, in the hopes it can help you too.
The Beauty of Perspective While it may not always seem like it, we always have a choice on how to view the circumstances we find ourselves in. Being human, we do not always make the choice that is best for our mental well-being. Naturally, we like certain situations and dislike others. Choosing more positive perspectives can do wonders when it comes to traveling internationally. There is no limit to the situations you will encounter that will annoy or downright infuriate you; and the more different the culture is from your own, the more likely it is you will get mad at some point.
Getting overcharged is a perfect example, and if you are traveling in an area where people do not make a whole lot of money, it will happen, and often. You may be used to a place where everyone pays the same amount of money for everything and everything has a set price. But, in many places I have been, this is just not the case. The idea that you ask for more money from someone who has more to give is perfectly logical; trying to squeeze the most you can out of a rich tourist (and you are rich to them, no matter your financial standing in your home country) is par for the course. Yes, it is annoying, but the amount of money we are usually talking about is not a lot to us, so get over it. When getting charged ‘’double’’ means paying six dollars for the taxi ride instead of three, it is hardly messing with your budget, so let it go.
When you find yourself getting all heated about something during your trip, stop and think if there is any other way to look at the situation that will leave you less angry. I assure you there is at least one. You May Not Like It, But Accept Kitwe all have our beliefs about what is right and wrong, and how things are ‘’supposed’’ to be. When we encounter something that is out of line with our beliefs, we often do not like it. Something goes wrong or is against our preference, and again, we do not like it. We look at how things are done in this country, it seems to not make sense or is inefficient. All sorts of things can happen when traveling internationally that may make you angry, whether it is the posted bus schedule that is completely inaccurate, the shady hotel that totally misrepresented itself online, the non-existent customer service.
the list could go on and on. In these moments, you will do yourself a lot of good by just accepting the moment for what it is. Sure, you may still feel all riled up about it, but when we tell ourselves we will just accept it, that extra layer of emotional upset that comes from the mere fact that we are upset diminishes substantially.
It will make it easier to stay in that gross hotel room, to wait the extra two hours for that bus or deal with the fact that you have to wait 20 minutes for the check. Be Grateful You Are Even Here’s first world people have it pretty good, and we are pretty ungrateful for all we have. It is not our fault really…we are just so used to our comfy existence, that the problems we face truly seem troubling.
If the biggest obstacle you are facing is getting mad about a cab driver overcharging you in the tropical paradise of Bali, things are not so bad. A large portion of the world population will never see any other country but the one they live in…they may never even leave the village in which they were born. So, the next time you are getting wound up about something on your trip, think about how lucky you are to even be there in the first place.