The beautiful thing about our world is the contrast of cultures, customs and lifestyles. Thoughtful travelers are those who understand these differences, embrace them and can see the beauty of humanity.
Nobody likes a litter bug, make sure you are always putting your rubbish in the bin, don’t spit and don’t kick cans on the road. Tip- the more you help the better the world will be, if you are in a watering hole and see a can floating by, pick it up- put it in your backpack and get it in a bin!
Be aware of laws
Being thoughtful isn’t hard and a little research goes a long way. government sites are always there to help- try https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice- it has 225 countries local customs and laws. Have a look- you may be suprised. Example: It is illegal to kiss passionately in Indonesia carrying a “maximum penalty of five years in jail or a 250 million rupiah ($29,000 fine)”
Be environmentally friendly
Not every country recycles, but respect those that do. Don’t dump hazardous waste, try and put your toilet paper in the right place (not always in the toilet!!) and chewing gum is just a plain no-no!
Think before you speak
Slang terms can be taken the wrong way. Just because it is okay to swear where you are from that doesn’t mean it is okay everywhere else. Remember that YOU are the guest in the country, so follow their customs, not your own.
Always pack the essentials
Bandaids, tissues, wet wipes. These are all items that people around you can need too! Be thoughtful by offering your extras to those you can see struggling. If you have a skill that can be utilized (my partner is a mechanic- huge bonus on bus tours!) then share it when in need!
Do your ‘blog’ research
Being short on spare change, taking photos and being late can be an issue in certain places. So if you are ever in doubt- google it! Type ‘Blog’ after any country and you can find some interesting tips to help you be thoughtful 🙂
Smells are serious
Having a foul odor is never going to be okay. Be thoughtful to those around you and wash up!
Clothing is important
Cover up when needed. Muslim cultures will find it very disrespectful to see a girl in skimpy shorts or a boy in a loose singlet. Ensure you are dressed correctly and show compassion to these beautiful cultures. But also, don’t be offended by those who bare all in Brazil!!!
Giving a helping hand is one of the most gracious things a person can do. If you see somebody struggle, whether it be somebody who has dropped something or even falling over- give them your time and help! You may get a response that will make you smile for days-“Thank you kind stranger!”