We, as travelers, have at some point in our journeys encountered both good and bad. While we do hope to continue encountering the ‘good,’ the ‘bad’ also contributes in our well being in ways we don’t realise. At least it teaches you what NOT to do in future. My own journey’s are made up of trials and errors; I guess there is nothing called a perfect journey. Anything can go wrong, things may happen that are beyond our control, but then there are things that we can control too.
Here is what I have learnt.
1. Never join in a fight that is not your own. You never know where the fight can end up, so if you are not affected in any way, leave. Better still, if you have the urge to do something to help, call the authorities. Never mind if someone thinks you are a sod, a deserter, just leave.
2. Never criticise the local custom or tradition
3. Never make fun of the locals of take them to be stupid or dumb
4. Avoid getting into “religious” or ‘political’ arguments
5. Avoid dodgy places – trust your instincts on this.
6. Don’t get so drunk that you can’t find your way back to your rooms – or be sitting duck thieves or muggers
7. Never indulge in unprotected sex, no matter how desperate
8. Respect the local law
For No 5, I have many stories (sigh, I don’t learn very fast, now, do I). But after I got held at gun point in Arusha, Tanzania (yes! such things do happen) in 2010, I have become wiser. I am not even getting into the “drunk” side of it because, well, especially if you have been in Thailand or Bali, then getting drunk seems like an everyday business…except that it never fails to bring on the cravings to drink some more…uh, perhaps if it weren’t so cheap……