5 Sure-Fire Tips To Help You Travel Like An Idiot

Want to travel but hate the inconvenience of dealing with other countries, their customs and language, their people and their stupid laws? This easy-to-use guide will insure you can be left alone while you travel the world exactly as you see fit.

I would never have discovered this wine!
TIP #1—Always eat and drink things you’re 100% familiar with. New foods, weird-o spices, unpronounceable ingredients? Nah, that’s a waste! Only order foods you’ve had a 1,000 times before so there’s no chance of accidentally trying anything new.
OR – When I was staying at Fairmont Montreux Palace in Switzerland I was having dinner and ordered the local duck, which came with local veggies and had a glass of wine from La Cote, a wine region near Geneva. The guy next to me, clearly an American, ordered a chicken Caesar Salad and a Heineken. Seriously, why would you prefer the mediocre to the regional food/wine/beer/coffee, etc. of the very place you’re visiting? It doesn’t mean you’ll always like it, but your palate needs new experiences too.

At the Great Wall: nǐ hǎo.
TIP #2—Never learn to greet anyone in his or her own language. Learn a few words in the country you’re visiting? Way too hard. Speak exclusively your language. That way you always understand, at least, yourself.
OR – Learn a basic greeting and how to say thank you. It opens doors, shows respect for other people and makes you cool. When I was walking the Great Wall in China I routinely said hello to people in Chinese – very simple – but very effective and if nothing else, people smiled at me and greeted me back, making my experience all the more rich.

Out of the way Moai
TIP #3—Only stick with the obvious tourist attractions. Getting off the beaten path is no doubt the surest way to get beaten up, right? Side trips are for sissies – stay with the crowds.
OR-While on Easter Island I certainly visited the main moai attractions, but I also had rented a car and seen nearly all the moai on the island because I sought them out, including several that were rarely visited, including this one near a small harbor, far from the center of town. Listed on the map? Nope.

The serene beauty of morning at Vina Vik

TIP #4—Immerse yourself in your iPhone, ear buds and laptop. There’s no need to ever look up from a travel app or unplug from your virtual world because you might miss something, right?
OR—Lose the electronics in favor of authentic experiences. On a visit to Vina Vik, a very cool boutique winery/hotel two hours south of Santiago Chile, I took a morning hike over trails on its 11,000 acres. As this pix suggests, I would not have been so captivated by the morning sun penetrating the fog if I was listening to music. Instead I heard the birds, saw the sunrise and watched the distant snow capped Andes open up before me.

Austria's pristine beauty
TIP #5 – Treat public places, parks and wildlife refuge areas like it’s your very own back yard - a place to dump everything you don’t want.
OR – Cultivate a respect for the natural world since that’s probably why you’re visiting a city or country in the first place. When I was in Austria, it was clear the people there have a profound respect for their natural surroundings, taking great pain to keep it clean. Since we humans are at the top of the food chain, it is our responsibility and obligation to treat the other animals on this planet with respect, including the natural world around us. The more you see yourself as a part of the world rather than the focus of it, your life will be much better, and so everyone else’s.

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