TIP # 1: GROW A BEARD
Not recommended if you are a woman.
I used to be scared of beards. Not for me, I thought. They’re just for hipsters and hobos. But then I stopped shaving and hey presto, a mere 3 months later, I had a beard.
The benefits of a beard whilst travelling are:
- Beards are SPF 100+ (and sunscreen is expensive in touristy places).
- You will look like a hobo and therefore not get hassled by hobos. You may even get invited into their exclusive hobo society. Once you’re in this wonderful secret club, everything’s free and you can do what you like.
- You don’t need to waste time shaving. With that extra 10 mintues a day you can pursue other activities like learning a new language, studying the history of the place you’re visiting, or watch ice bucket challenge videos.
TIP #2: CARRY SMALL CHANGE FOR TOILETS:
Many countries charge you to use the public bathrooms. Peeing alone has cost me over $300 over the last 6 months. I pee a lot though. I should get it checked.
My point is, always carry small change with you. That cheap street food sits in your stomach waiting for its opportunity to catch you out. You could be up a mountain, in the sea, strolling through ancient ruins then bam! it wants out. And when you’re about to erupt, the last thing you want is to be turned away from the public toilets because you’ve got no coins.
If you’re like me and enjoy travelling in developing countries ‘cos it’s cheap then you may come face to face with a squatter. Carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Soap is rarer than a non pedo children’s entertainer.
TIP #3: LEARN BASIC LINGO :
Most cultures really appreciate it if you learn some of the local language. Except the French. They just look at you like you were hit by a bus as a child.
Learn the following words in the local language:
How are you
I’m (insert your name)
I’m from (insert your country)
How much is it?
That’s too much my friend.
I’m full (this keeps restaurant touts off your back)
I’d like ….a room/food/chilli sauce/the toilet/beer/amphetamines/world peace/a wife/a spank/chicken wrapped in bacon.
No thank you.
Duolingo is a great app for learning languages:
TIP #4: CARRY A MEDICAL KIT:
Always, always, ALWAYS carry anti gastro tablets. Nothing gives me the shits more than getting the shits. Immodium has saved my ass many a time.
ALL OTHER AILMENTS: Betadine can solve any other affliction you may get whilst travelling. If I lost an arm I’d put betadine on the stump. It’d probably grow back.
BETADINE STORY: In India, I jumped off a house-boat into a polluted, disease-infested canal for some reason. I had an open wound on my foot. It blew up like a pink balloon. The doctor in the floating medical centre just doused my foot in betadine and a few days later my foot went back to normal. Feet never look that normal though. Weird things, feet. Try looking at them when you’re stoned.
TIP #5: EXPECT THE WORST
There’s nothing worse than travelling half way around the world, only to be disappointed when the place doesn’t turn out to be as good as expected.
I know those glazey eyed, plastic smile Self Improvement Gurus will tell you to expect the best all the time. Expect good things to happen they say, and well, good things will happen.
But, I say, fuck that. Expect the worst. When you visit a new place or are about to go to a “must see” attraction, assume that it will be the shittest experience of your life. Imagine it’ll be a filthy cesspit of violence, crime, and aggressive, AIDS-ridden monkeys. When you arrive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it’s not that bad.
It’s simple. Expect the worst and every experience will be better than you thought. Psychology 101.