You’re sensible. You’re cool. You think of everything and you always know where your keys are. In fact, if there were a medal for people who can always be relied upon to be useful in an emergency, you’d have about ten of them. Per week. Which begs the question, why do things always seem to go wrong when we travel abroad? After all, it’s only another country, a bit of land poking up out of the sea a bit further away than the soil we call home. So why do things always find a way to side swipe us when we have limited local knowledge? Common things like different drink driving limits (incidentally, a DUI attorney from Los Angeles could be a useful move), and whether it’s safe and legal to cross the road before the green man appears.
Of course, part of the mystery and fun of travel is indeed stepping out into the street and not knowing the protocol – we feel like children all over again, out of our comfort zone and into the deep end. That’s all part of the thrill. Not let’s think about some other common pitfalls of travel.
No, we don’t mean feeling a little under the weather whilst tottering around on the deck of a ferry on choppy waters. We mean actual, real, very scary illness. If you’ve ever read the book or seen the film ‘War of the Worlds’, you’ll know that bacteria saves the day (if you haven’t seen the film, that will make no sense). The point is that our immune systems are adapted to our home environments, and when we move around the globe, something as simple as a glass of water can make us ill. Wash your hands every two hours, take vitamins, drink only bottled water, and be careful where you eat (street food probably isn’t the best bet).
Stolen luggage (or misplaced belongings)
This one has happened to almost everybody. From a pair of sunglasses that never made it back from the beach, to actual whole-sale theft of entire bags or temporarily unattended jackets. When you travel abroad, always carry the minimum cash on you that you need, preferably in a concealed strap around your waist. Leave everything else in a locker at the hotel. If you can, only travel with things you don’t mind losing (i.e. not your best clothes, and leave the laptop at home). Travelling light is travelling smart.