Not everyone's built for travelling.
Hold the phone - we said travelling, not holidays. Holidays are great; you're ferried from place to place, the food's normally easily-recognisable, most people speak English (or will be kind to you if you attempt their language) and the place you're staying in will be built for tourists. No challenges here. We're talking about packing up a rucksack and hitting the road. It can be hard; but here's how to do it like a badass.
1) Don't stress. Stuff will go wrong - there will be times when you lose money, or you end up spending more than you wanted, or you forget to book accommodation and end up sleeping rough, or you just get really, really drunk. These things happen. You're only human. Stop beating yourself up, and enjoy the rest of your trip.
2) Put the camera down. If you're in a picturesque area, by all means, take a few snaps. Don't spend your life behind your phone screen, though - and a few group shots are fine, but leave it at that. You're not Louis Theroux. People don't want their lives documented, as this is strange and jarring.
3) Don't be a child when it comes to food. You're in a foreign country. You're offered something that looks a little unusual. And then, it moves on your plate. If you've seen The Addams Family, you'll know that food doesn't always arrive dead - sometimes, you have to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Try local foods, smile, and talk to people. If you don't like it, you can always spit it out.
4) Don't complain. Oh, your flight's delayed? You must be the only one who's inconvenienced; the rest of these tired, bored-looking people are obviously just sitting around in the departure lounge for the great views and the incomparable shopping. If something unforeseen happens, it's cool - just roll with it, and don't whine.
5) Be kind. As much as cutesy, kitsch phrases like 'pay it forward' make us wince, there is some truth to them. If you can swap seats on the flight to make sure a couple are sat together, help someone with their bags or make friends with someone who's a bit lonely, do it. Travel is, to a certain extent, about making the world better. Make sure that you do your bit.
6) Don't follow the crowd. Being flexible and changing your plans will only benefit you, but there comes a point when you have to stick to your guns. If you meet a really cool bunch of people and they want you to scrap your plans and join them when their time at the hostel ends, never feel pressured into saying 'yes' and changing your trip to suit others. You'll never see them again, anyway, so it's not like you'll have to worry about losing face.
7) Keep in touch with family. Just a once-a-week phone call or Skype session will let people know that you're safe, happy and well - proper badasses care about other people. It's not cool to switch your phone off for weeks on end if you have people at home who will worry; make sure that you're as considerate as you can be (depending on the country and WiFi, obviously!).
8) Be honest with yourself when it comes to romance. If you're setting off on a year-round trip and you have a partner who you're not particularly fussed by, do the grown-up thing and start the trip as a singleton. Letting someone at home believe you're being faithful and thinking of them when you're knee-deep in beachwear-clad hotties is not good form; just evaluate what you want from the trip, and if it's a series of flings, don't hold your partner back from meeting someone new.
9) Try to learn some of the local language. Knowing how to say please, thank you and ask for directions will stand you in good stead; plus, learning the local language will show people that you're willing to try and ingratiate yourself in their culture, which is never a bad thing.
10) Don't play guitar in your hostel or hotel room. Unless a massive crowd of people arrive and they beg, yes, beg, you to start playing, just don't. Please.
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