Some people behave badly once they leave the confines of their neighborhood or zip code. I try to do the same things, as far as responsible behavior. But I am guilty of a few things, as we shall see.
1. Eat a BIG breakfast.
Yes, guilty as charged. The breakfast buffets are tempting, and often included in the price of my room. And better yet, if I upgrade to a Club or Concierge level, the buffet is even better, and includes champagne. On the plus side, I tend to have more energy throughout the day, and tend to eat a lighter lunch than when I am at home.
2. Take too many photos.
I try to be somewhat judicious about taking photos, even with the “free” digital age. Certainly the demise of film photography has made all of us into amateur “Ansel Adams” or Alfred Stieglitz. I enjoy taking the photos, though my most memorable trips and experiences are indelibly ingrained in my memory.
3. Make friends.
Yes, I do tend to talk to strangers more often. Much of it is curiosity. If I see someone interesting, and I have time, why not? On my last trip to Burma, I met some professional photographers from Bali. They were Americans, but I knew they were up to something. And of course, Carlos and Rina from Mexico City, who we met on board the junk at Halong Bay, Vietnam. We are going to visit them next month!! And who can forget Barry the V from Cape Town, Jason and Chun from Penang, Angela from Kuala Lumpur, and many others.
4. Use the toilet more often.
Yes, of course. It is better to use the one you see than not see one for the 6 hours. Public toilets are difficult to find in some countries. Plus they always seem to have an “attendant” with his or her hand out just because they handed you a paper towel!! But when nature calls, the “open public” toilet beckons. Always carry some hand cleaner, and in some places, your own toilet paper!
5. Drink more alcohol.
After all, it is a vacation, right? It starts on the plane with free flowing champagne. Then it continues at the hotel. Every lunch and dinner seems to begin with cocktails or a cold beer, especially in Third World countries where clean water is an issue. Then, there is the serious matter of running into partiers like Barry the V from South Africa or Dr. C from Mex City. They were such a bad influence on me and Mike.
6. Dress like a tourist.
Why not? Why else did you buy all that stuff you would not ever consider wearing back home. I really do not like those zip off legs on hiking pants. But I continue to wear them since I want to wear shorts when I arrive in warm weather destinations. Mostly, I like wash and wear, things that I can wash in the shower or sink. Better yet, I bring several items that I want to donate or toss. It leaves more room for purchases!
7. Spend too much.
Rarely does this happen to me, anymore. Perhaps in my earlier travel days, but not now. I am at the point in my life where I am trying to downsize and simplify. But that does not stop me from buying something for you! I would rather spend more on the flights and hotels.
8. Tip too much.
I think most Americans are guilty of this. Some cultures do not tip, like in Japan. Some tip very little, like in SE Asia. Some expect big tips from Americans, like the French and the Russians. Tipping the needy is always a good idea in my opinion.
9. Buy refrigerator magnets.
I must have the world’s largest collection of refrigerator magnets. OK, that is my only vice.
Certainly, you can come up with many more. Some people sleep in. I fail to see why anyone would spend so much money to travel to a far away place, and “waste” their time sleeping 12 hours a day!!! Many eat too much. The problem with this? The next corner or stand may offer something to eat, something so good you will remember it for the rest of your life!!!!