Three scary things about travel

16 Jun

Here are three things that may scare you about traveling

Hint: they aren’t that bad…

Driving overseas

I’m not sure why so many people seem so shocked when I tell them I have rented and driven a car in Europe and the UAE, heck, even Vegas. I just want to set the record straight that it’s pretty easy. For Europe I just had to get an international drivers permit, which was essentially paying AAA to check out my license and give me a small piece of paper to carry with me. It expired a year or so later.

Driving in these other places is actually better than driving at home, in my opinion. I am not a fan of the slow driving, hesitant, gawking driving that most people do in the states. It drives me crazy to know that we are backed up on the freeway because people are staring at a wreck that is not on our side of the freeway. It’s dangerous and you may cause a wreck because of seeing a wreck. It happens all the time.

In other countries the fast lane is truly the fast lane. If you are in it you had better be going fast, or passing someone. I found it liberating to drive 200 km on the autobahn. I also loved weaving in and out of traffic in the UAE. I guess I’m pretty good at offensive driving. Don’t be scared, just do it. Don’t hesitate, that just gets you into trouble.

CarSheep

 

You wouldn’t get this view just driving the highways…take some back roads.

Staying with locals

What’s a good way to save money on vacation and really immerse yourself as a local? Don’t stay in a hotel in the tourist areas. Look at all your options including AirBnB, VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), B&B’s, hostels or CouchSurfing. If you want to live like a local, then stay like one. I know it may seem scary to stay in someone else’s space or to stay with someone you don’t know but it can also be an incredible experience. Maybe you’ll cook together or they’ll show you around town. To me it’s worth the risk to save some money and have a better experience. I love living like the locals. I love experiencing the city in their eyes.

I’ve only ever had one bad experience when CouchSurfing and it wasn’t because I was scared of the host. The host was amazing! He showed us around the city for two days. It was the conditions of his house that made us uncomfortable. I’m a clean person and I like my accommodations to be that as well. This time the place was really a mess, especially the bathroom. I think with a few quick questions maybe you can find out more about their living conditions before you go. Or have a back up plan. That’s the safest way to travel anyway.

 

Theft

I know this one is a scary one for a lot of people but if you live in fear than you never truly live. Well, that’s my philosophy anyway. I usually do the things that scare me because they scare me.

There are things that you can do to prevent theft in other countries like carrying an RFID cut proof bag and dressing like a local. You just want to blend in and not scream ‘I’m a tourist’. Just watch you back and stay out of bad neighborhoods. To me that’s the same advice that you should live by at home. Just do the same thing when you are abroad. Also check out my packing list, it has some good recommendations for safety like the bag I love and copies of all your important documents.

Stay safe and travel often!

Bags

Read more myths about travel.

 

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