I had the good fortune to meet through my work, a gal that worked as an aide in diplomatic situations for years – and, no kiddin’ speaks way more languages than I do (English/Cursing/Blasphemy – yup – 3 is all I’ve got, unless you count a friendly smile, shrug, and frantic acting out of descriptions in non-mime form a language….)
I took advantage of her graciousness, to confess – I’ve been scared to travel “abroad” for a couple of reasons –
- What if I don’t speak the local language or lingo? Will I inadvertently offend someone and not even know enough to say, “I’m sorry?”
- What if I say/do something that is very reprehensible in the local culture, just cuz I don’t know their milenia old history and pain points? What if I guarantee that by trying to connect, visit with another, I say something that hurts or offends, cuz I didn’t know enough to keep my mouth shut?
- What if I tip too much or not enough? What will wait staff/small business owners think of all Americans, once I leave, if I mess up?
- Are other countries, older than ours, even as judgmental as so many are in our country? Should I even be worrying about this stuff? LOL
Lots of stress – to me – this traveling abroad –
She helped, somewhat, in me getting over my fears – and assured me that as long as I’m polite and learn how to say a recognizable “Please” and “Thank You” in local lingo/language – I’ll probably be okay –
But truly – the absolute best local experiences I have had when I visited a ‘new to me’ area was when I was able to make contact with one who lives and loves their locale –
I’ve bookmarked places from the blogs I follow – I’ve set a ‘to do list’ for bloggy world buddies, to say, “Hey – think I’m going to be passing close to you, next summer – can I buy you lunch (or tea, or coffee – or whatever is appropriate – and, if you say, “There’s a fantabulous restaurant I’ve been wanting to try – minimum per person is $1,000 – well – we’ll have to settle for meeting over a cup of coffee in the parking lot – LOL)
So now – you know my goals – and I will have to stretch every bit of budget to stay and travel the land across the pond as much as I can afford to – and to stay to soak up the culture of the locales I visit – for as long as I can –
Post, email or message me your favorites in your area – can’t wait to hear about them and work them into the overall plan! 🙂