As a pretty seasoned traveler, I have a range of travel experiences under my belt—some are awesome and some are not so awesome. Such is the life of international travel. With the sweet, always comes the sour and on your journey, you will likely experience some hiccups that can range from frustrating to downright infuriating. I wanted to share some tips that have helped me personally. Stuff is always going to come up so the best we can do is find ways to deal with it better so we enjoy the ride a bit more.
Travel has taught me many things and one of the biggies is being more flexible. Things are going to come up that will put kinks in your plans and you will have to work with what you got. It stinks when you make a plan or have your heart set on something and then you cannot do it. But, if you can learn to just accept what it in the moment and be open to the other options available to you, this stuff will not bother you as much.
Perspective is everything in life. We always have that choice on how to view the things that are happening to us. Naturally, we prefer certain circumstances over others, but even when things happen that we perceived as ‘’bad,’’ there is always another way to look at it. If you get mad out of principle that someone overcharged you three dollars for something, you can choose to let it go by realizing that it was a miniscule amount of money anyway. If you are annoyed at the bus leaving late, it could be worse—you could be stuck in your office with your annoying co-workers or your boss you hate.
This is kind of similar to being flexible but it involves a lot more. Sometimes you will see things being done in a way that just does not make sense to you. You will wonder why they are not doing it in a better way. You will have some sort of problem and you will not like the solution offered to you, or they will offer no solution because they do not see it as a problem . I remember one time a restaurant in Vietnam gave me the wrong meal and instead of bringing me the new meal, they asked if I would just eat that one. In a culture like America where you are expected to move heaven and earth to please a customer, that would be seen as ridiculous. But here, they did not want to waste the food and it made perfect sense to them to ask me to just eat that – the meal was not what I wanted but it was something I could eat, so I did. I was slightly annoyed at first but then I just accepted it for what it was.
Being grateful for the wonderful things we have, like being from a country where you can move freely and have money to take trips overseas, can go a long way in reducing the stresses you will inevitably encounter from being in foreign lands with foreign ways of doing things. When you find yourself getting annoyed at something, try to feel grateful for being able to have the experience in the first place.
A lot of our stress in life comes from taking ourselves and life in general way too seriously. Learn to laugh at what is going on. When you find yourself getting all worked up about the rude waiter or the crappy bus that was labeled as VIP, do not feel so indignant or act like everything is a personal affront to you. Laugh at your annoyance and just try to let things go. Enjoy the ride.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who loves sharing her insights and advice about travel, her number one passion. If you are looking to go down under for your next trip, check out Australia’s top astronomical destinations.