Posts Tagged ‘people’

So, if you know me (Lisa) at all, you’d know that I’m a bit of a worry wort with an over-active imagination.  Some of you may have read that here.  Well, this morning I woke up grinding my teeth after having a pretty vivid dream about Corey & I traveling with a huge group of people for our entire Round the World (RTW).  It left me feeling a bit tense.

Many people do travel like this, with a big group, but that’s not our plan.  I freaked out thinking about following an itinerary that’s not for us & sticking out like a sore thumb.  Don’t get me wrong, we will stick out, there’s no way to blend in with our travel gear, Corey’s skin color/height and the fact that neither one of us can speak a second langauge (we will learn the everyday phrases, but won’t be experts).  However, we would like to try out best to stand out as little as possible!

I’ve only done one trip overseas, which happened to be with a group & I ended up having a great time.  We did, however, have one obnoxious American in our group, who more often than not, embarrassed all of us.  By obnoxious American, I mean, loud, arrogant, ignorant of  her surroundings, pompous and a bit rude when things didn’t go her way. 

From what I’ve heard from other travellers, every country has some horrible stereotypes that we will eventual run in to.  Apparently, Canadians are also rude and obnoxious, Australians are arrogant, Indians are pushy, Italians are poor drivers and the list goes on.  My point is that just because some people fall into these stereotypes doesn’t mean that everyone from a certain country falls into their stereotype.  The few Canadians I’ve met/corresponded with have been nothing but nice and helpful towards me.  Why go anywhere if people are already what we assume they are?  If someone went to insert hectic American city here (New York, LA, Chicago, D.C.) and had a horrible experience, they might assume that all of America is like that, which it not the case.

There will be times while travelling that we might be so stressed that our unpleasant sides may peak their nasty heads.  Let’s face it, nobody is happy all the time and every now and again people need to vent.  We’ll be trying our best not to let the stress of travel bring out the negative stereotype in us!

For you seasoned travellers, what people have you run into that have proved the stereotype wrong?

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Almost every travel book, blog and message board that I have come across has suggested that bringing small gifts along is a great idea for your trip.  Whether you plan on doing homestays or not, it’s still good to have some trinket or memento that reflects who you are.  It shows respect for the people who let you stay in their home & appreciation for your fellow road mates.  Based solely on the experiences of other travelers I’ve seen a wide range of the type of gifts that people bring.  They seem to range anywhere from pens to key chains to cigarettes.  One guy, Erick Trinidad, even handed out a book that he helped write – of course he didn’t give that to every person he met on the road, but to the people who helped him along the way.

 Corey & I have discussed this briefly & the one thing that we both agreed upon was that we want it to have a personal touch, something that others may not think to give as a gift.  Don’t get me wrong, the gifts above are great, but we want to give something that might actually help people to remember us.  The gift can be given to someone who allows us to stay in their home, to a fellow traveler or even to some local kids. 

 So, what did we ultimately decide to hand out to our future acquaintances? 

 We both agreed that friendship bracelets/necklaces would be our main gift to give.  They’re small, light weight, easy to make & will give me something to do while we’re in commute on long train/bus rides.  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t happy that someone gave me a friendship bracelet.  They have many uses: bracelet (duh!), zipper-pull, bookmark, hair tie, key chain accessory and the list goes on!  Plus, I’ve already got a stash in our apartment!  The only thing that Corey noticed is that I need to work on using more masculine colors.

 So, what do you think?  Would you want something like this as a keepsake?  Would you hate it?  To those of you who have done your trip already, what was your gift, if any?

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