With summer in the Northern Hemisphere and peak
travel season just around the corner, it's easy to get caught up in the
excitement and anticipation of journeying abroad. But before you pack your bags, there are a few things to remember so you don't become an ugly, faux pas-committing tourist.
1. You don't respect the country's cultural norms and dress inappropriately.
We have to draw the line when it comes to
dressing inappropriately on someone else's turf. For example, many
religious sites and places of worship abroad require a modicum of
modesty-- a small sacrifice
when you are trying to see the world. So be respectful, ditch the
singlets and booty shorts, and cover those shoulders and knees.
2. You take pictures when and where you're not supposed to.
over yourself and commit that statue/painting/monument to memory. These
beautiful things you travel far and wide to see are probably still
sacred and intact expressly because no photos are allowed.
3. You expect everyone to speak English and make zero attempts to use the language of the country/city/region you're in.
the language of Shakespeare is pretty much spoken worldwide, but learn a
few choice phrases in the relevant foreign language and use them
without fail-- you may be surprised at the positive response you receive
4. You make disparaging remarks about the country's practices and customs without attempting to understand why things are the way they are.
You're not really in a position to berate
them or look down your nose at what they do. Open-mindedness, tolerance,
self-reflection, and curiosity are tenets any world citizen should hold
5. You "other" the locals and treat them as props in your "perfect" Facebook and Instagram posts.
Engage with people because they are human beings, not because they set the stage for a funny or poignant Facebook cover photo. Treat people with the dignity they deserve and not just as background furniture for your "enlightening, epic, life-changing" trip to x destination.