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5 Signs You’re a Crappy Tourist

5 Signs You’re a Crappy Tourist

    Your ticket is booked. You’re packed and ready to go. Are you ready to have a good time on your next adventure? Good.

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    Before you go, remember that you’ll be a guest in another country. As great as it is to kick back and relax, you need to keep in mind that you might end up disrespecting locals or even the very place you are visiting.

    You don’t want to do any of the following five things and end up looking like a crappy tourist:

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    1. Sticking Your Camera Where It Is Not Wanted

    You may find that there are places of worship that do not allow photos to be taken in certain places. Many have signs alerting tourists where they cannot take photos. Some might even provide the reason. It is not only rude, but sacrilegious in some places if you choose to ignore their warnings. If you are lucky, locals, and employees will probably chalk it up to the fact that you don’t know any better. Some places aren’t so forgiving and will confiscate your camera or just your SD card. Not only will you lose the photos you just took, but possibly all the other ones from the rest of your trip.

    2. Being Rude When Negotiating

    Some countries will have markets and stores where it is very common to negotiate on an agreed price before purchase. Think about it: these shopkeepers are merely trying to earn a living. Yes, they maybe be over-inflating prices, but are you willing to get into a verbal argument over it? Be friendly but firm when stating what you are willing to pay. Be prepared to say, “Thanks but no thanks” and just walk away if you don’t like the price.

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    Another reason to be nice: you never know if other shopkeepers might be looking. If you are rude to one, who’s to say the others will be willing to do business with you?

    3. Ignoring Dress Codes

    Many religious sites and historic buildings will post strict dress codes (if there are any). Some will provide appropriate clothing in order for tourists to comply with guidelines, but some won’t. Don’t insist on going in if someone tells you that you’re not dressed appropriately. What makes you think you’re the only who doesn’t need to follow the rules?

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    Some tourists tend to forget that there are unofficial guidelines to dress codes as well. For example, in some Middle Eastern countries, women tend to cover their hair and cover their bodies. If you go in as a female tourist and ignore the dress code, the chance of you looking like a crappy tourist are high.

    4. Not Immersing in the Local Culture

    What is the point of visiting a new country if you are not even willing to try out a few local dishes? Of course, there are exceptions like dietary restrictions, but there is nothing stopping you from doing a little bit of research beforehand and finding out what you can eat.  Even if you don’t go out to a restaurant, the least you can do is go to a market and purchase some local produce to cook in your hotel room, provided that you have the appropriate facilities.

    5. Openly Criticizing Your Surroundings

    It’s rude in your own country, so why is it ok to do the same somewhere else? You’d look like a total jerk if you make comments like “The restaurants are so dirty here” or “This hotel is definitely not like the standards we keep back in the US.” It doesn’t matter if you don’t think people understand you. Chances are, someone might. Don’t forget that body language and the tone of your voice also speaks volumes.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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