Has anyone else ever experienced this? When you’re at home, you’re clearly a capable adult and you make decisions for yourself from what time you’re going to get up in the morning to where you’re going to meet your friends for dinner. But put yourself on a plane for a few hours and then take a quick spin through airport customs and suddenly you’re in a land where people decide not to worry you with questions about how and why, but instead just want you to sit back and enjoy yourself, much like you did when you were a child.
|Remember when you didn’t have a care in the world?|
When I travel to a foreign country my hosts will often consult me on high level decisions like “What kind of food do you want to eat for dinner” or “Do you want to visit the museum or to the beach today” but once that basic information is in hand, I am no longer involved in the detailed planning. Suddenly, I am just following behind my hosts like a child because I don’t know enough about the place I am visiting and/or I don’t know enough of the language to add anything valuable to further detailed discussions. For example, I’ll be told that we were going to a seafood restaurant for dinner, but I’ll have no idea as to where that restaurant is, how we are going to get there or what time we are heading out the door. If I am lucky, I know whether to dress casually or to put on my best dress, but often I don’t know that until I see what my hosts are wearing.
|The joys of traveling like a little kid|
Traveling in situations like this really teaches you to live in the moment. No need to worry about what’s coming up because someone else is sure to figure it out for you. You can just concentrate on having fun at the beach because your friends will be figuring out what time to leave to avoid traffic or how to order lunch from the seaside restaurant. Of course this only works when you’re around people you know you can trust. Don’t just sit back and let someone make all of your decisions for you if you don’t know their motives. If you do, there’s a very good chance you will find yourself with no money and no luggage in the middle of nowhere wishing you’d paid a bit more attention to what was going on around you. If you’re by yourself in a foreign country, always be aware of your situation, the details of your plans and if you’re not sure, ask questions and demand answers!