Tag Archives: Cultures

Lessons From Traveling: Get A Sense Of Humor

3 Apr

Whenever anyone asks me why I travel abroad, one of my answers has got to be that it makes me laugh.  Laugh at myself. Laugh at the world.  Traveling really is a great confidence booster because it perpetually reminds you that  life is bewildering and ridiculous.  

All beginning travelers try to get it all right. Things start making sense, you get through security with no hiccups and you start to tell yourself “I’ve got this. I own this traveling thing.”  BOOM! You inevitablly trip on the carpet, land flat on your face, and watch as your suitcase crashes to the ground exposing socks and clothes to all and sundry.  Yes, that happened to me. I landed nose to the floor smack in front of the hotel doors and had four lovely bellhops standing around in shock and awe.  

It was a 5-star hotel with highly important people milling around. I just got in because the school had a group rate and wanted to impress us.  Olympians, you will recognize this place because it’s where you stayed during the Beijing games. But trust me, few Olympians have accomplished the sheer magnitude of that landing.  I hit with all the style that only an overweight little German dumpling can accomplish.  It was glorious. 

 

Which brings me back to my point, traveling makes me laugh.  You really can’t help it, because with the world as crazy as it is, you either laugh or cry.  It helps that between the adrenaline and slight hysteria that comes with all new adventures, everything becomes SO much funnier.

You just never catch a break when you adventure outside of your comfort zone. There are cultural differences, natural differences, and of course utterly random differences.  I recently visited China and Korea, and if asked to compare them, one thing really comes to mind–hotel rules. You can slip into the culture really quickly, but spend hours trying to negotiate proper hotel etiquette.  The worst part about traveling in Asia is the lack of good clothes washing abilities. Hotels often don’t come with washers and never have dryers so you generally find yourself sending anything that needs pressed out to dry-cleaning.  The problem was that in Korea you had to bag up your clothes and carry them to the desk.So down I went with my suit pants to ask where I should leave them only to get the look.   Continue reading

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