I am not a writer. I am just the person who is addicted to travels and has passion for capturing every single piece of traveling memories in words
Each of us has their own perspective on traveling and what it means to us. However, there are still some bad habits I’ve picked up from some travelers I met or was told about. What are they?
1. Don’t buy a travel book
The Internet contains one hundred percent a diverse range of useful information collecting traveling experience from backpackers all over the world. I am by no means recommending you not to read such travel stories. What I am driving at is the validity of information coming from those sources. (For short, “Are those still valid?) Remember to take notice of the date when the writer reached the places and tracked the road and tourist attraction information.
Travel books are updated each year with official publishing houses that promise you the quality and the trustworthiness of source of information.
For instance, one backpacker who traveled around Hanoi from Tuesday to Thursday would never be able to tell you that most of the places are closed on Monday. But that kind of information is available on travel books. I can say it for sure because I already inspected Vietnam Lonely Planet book and saw the open hours and timetable available too.
2. Don’t talk to the locals.
You should get out of that habit as soon as possible. You would find nowhere near understand the culture or the lifestyle of a place until you get to speak with the local people. The way they speak, the subjects they are in the habit of chatting about,… Sometimes, such dialogues and conversations survive vividly and freshly in your mind for long time rather than names of places that you visit.
I don’t need to chew the cud but still can state that most of the people are friendly and are open to talk with you as tourists. One of the reasons compelling me to travel alone is that I’ll have more opportunities to talk with the local residents and get into the routines of their lives.
For those who come to Vietnam and want to learn some Vietnamese phrases, here they are:
– Hello = Xin chào (Xin chao)
– Sorry = Xin lỗi (Xin loi)
– Thank you = Cảm ơn (Cam on)
Many people say that learning Vietnamese is really challenging because sometimes they know the words but they don’t know how to pronounce them correctly. Obviously, since Vietnamese is a tonal language in which by one word you could imply distinct meanings simply by raising or falling down your tone. To illustrate, most of you probably know that “Pho” is a kind of well-known Vietnamese food that represents one aspect of Vietnamese gastronomy or cuisine.
In Vietnamese language, we have such things:
– Phở = Noodle
– Phố = Street
– Phò = Support/ Help/…
Despite sounding different, all of them are written as “Pho” when being translated into English. Have you ever thought about it?
Be careful! When walking around in Vietnam, seeing these sorts of signs: “Phố Tràng Tiền”, “Phố Đinh Tiên Hoàng”,… Don’t think that they are leading you to “Pho” (noodle) paradises!!!
3. Travel at a snail’s pace because of your heavy luggage (Dont get me wrong after clicking on that link. That is not my travel luggage, that is my stuff for living and working in Sai Gon for two months)
Some people try to bring their houses along with them while traveling by carrying so many stuffs that make them look heavy and exhausted. Traveling gives you a chance to relax, to live the other life that SHOULD be different from what you’ve had for many years. Don’t stick with your daily life. Be well prepared for changes and a life that is not at all like being at home. Traveling light helps you move easily, not to mention that you might save some money on the check-in luggage fees. Instead of packing with a lot of suitcases or valises, why don’t you try to put all-your-life in one backpack?
4. Don’t try street food
Not only Vietnam or other Southeast Asian countries, most of the nations in this world, I think, have their own styles of street food that you will regret if not trying once. Being afraid of the quality? Look at the local people who eat them everyday and love it! What could be the reason not to pick up chopsticks (or forks or spoons, whatever) and taste the street food, try the street drink?
What do you think?