TIPS† FOR† CONGENIAL† TRAVEL
††††††††† To get the most out of travelling a person should expect some inconveniences and, sometimes, even discomforts.† Anybody who insists on all the comforts of home should just stay there, because leaving oneís home or country means adjusting to different daily schedules, different foods, different climates, different customs, and different people.
ADJUST TO THE CULTURE!
††††††††† Travel is an adventure, trying out new things and having new experiences.† Dare yourself to try whatever comes your way.† You may not get the chance again.† If you paid your money to visit a foreign land but refuse to eat anything but ďAmericanĒ food, you wasted your currency and your time.† If you donít drink alcohol and find a glass of wine at your place, be polite and take a sip - or take part in a toast.† It will not kill you.† Remember Paulís advice to take a little wine.† You can certainly refuse a refill without hurting anyoneís feelings.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN!
††††††††† Keep the purpose of the trip in mind.† If the excursion is for gaining more knowledge of distant places, then the discomforts of the body should not be allowed to detract from the edification of the mind.† Everyone knows that real learning costs effort in the way of sacrifice, self-discipline, and rigorous mental application.† If the mind is being fed, the body can make do on short rations.† Remember the occasion when Jesus was talking about serious matters to a Samaritan woman at a well and His disciples returned from the nearby town with food.†† He said He was not hungry and explained, ďI have food that you do not know anything aboutĒ (John 4:32).† When a person is absorbed in some great achievement, food and sleep and bodily comforts become secondary.
DONíT BE A GRIPER!
††††††††† When the going gets tough, it does not help the situation to moan, groan, and gripe.† That just adds to everyoneís discomfort.† Better to approach an obstacle with light-hearted humor.† Better to laugh at adversity and thus make it more bearable.† And being in the presence of a congenial traveller raises the spirits of everyone.
DONíT BLOCK THE AISLES!
††††††††† When your bus, plane, train, boat, or van reaches its destination, get off!† Donít stand in the aisle talking to your friends or searching for your belongings.† Get your gear together before the vehicle stops, and then head for the exit door.† Do your talking once you are outside.† (The same goes for getting on the vehicle.)
GET BACK TO THE BUS ON TIME!
††††††††† Keeping everybody waiting while you buy more souvenirs or take more photographs is very inconsiderate.
STAY WITH THE TOUR GROUP!
††††††††† Donít wander off by yourself without getting permission to do so.
FORGET ABOUT HOME FOR A WHILE!
††††††††† Donít always be comparing the place your are visiting with the place you came from.† Instead, try looking for good things in the new culture and appreciating things as they are.† Donít be the typical ďugly American,Ē making unkind remarks about how bad conditions are.† Be considerate of those who are serving you, and donít turn up your nose at the services they provide.† They may be giving the very best that they have.
GET WITH THE CURRENT SCENE!
††††††††† Donít ignore what is happening around you and distract fellow travellers with boring details about your family or your job or your personal history.† They may be trying to take in new sights and get the most out of every minute of the tour.
DONíT BE A CHATTERBOX!
††††††††† Just one compulsive talker in a group can get on everybodyís nerves.† Donít drown out the tour guide when he is talking.† Never disturb someone who is reading or trying to sleep.† Be aware of whether you are dominating most conversations.† Remember that nobody wants to hear your opinion on everything.
DONíT HOG THE WINDOW SEATS ALL THE TIME!
††††††††† Usually it is open seating as passengers get on the vehicle, and most will want to get up front or take a window seat or avoid sitting over the wheelwell hump.† Be thoughtful and share the best viewing spots.
DONíT PULL DOWN THE SHADES!
††††††††† If you are sitting in a window seat in the sun and the bus has shades, donít pull them down!† Take the heat or move.† People on the tour should not be denied the view so you can be comfortable.
TAKE A JACKET IF YOU ARE COLD NATURED!
††††††††† If the vehicle is too cold for you, be prepared to put on extra clothing.† Also be willing to take something off, if you are too hot.† Take bottled water and refresh yourself with cooling sips.