How to Respect Different Cultures as a Traveler

In my book, “Mootoa’s Moons: The Other Woman,” a team of intergalactic travelers land on the planet Mootoa as they require engine repairs for their space vehicle.

They noticed that the planet Mootoa was almost the same as Earth, except for significant differences. One such difference is that the women were more powerful than the men. Suffice it to say; that culture shock is one of the first immediate reactions of the Earthborn crew members.

While I don’t expect you to travel outside the planet anytime soon, you can certainly make use of these tips once COVID-19 travel restrictions are slowly receding:

1. Try to read up on the place beforehand. There are travel guides readily available in bookstores and online e-book formats. If you’re not much of a reader, check out several YouTube online from highly-rated travelers who can give you tips and tricks to make your trip memorable.

2. Be aware of the closest embassy office. In case of an emergency where you may need to head back to your country, you must know where the nearest embassy office is. Jot down their contact details and be ready with your papers when necessary. It also helps to keep a digital backup on file.

3. Get travel insurance. You can never be too safe, especially when traveling outside of your country for the first time. While the added expenses may be jarring at first, you can have the luxury of knowing you have a safety net when things go sour.

4. Pick up on useful phrases in the local language. Terms such as “Where is the bathroom?” “How much does this cost?” “Good morning” and the like shows respect to the culture while also preventing the awkward language barrier that could happen.

Preparation is always critical, especially in times like these. As many countries slowly lift their travel bans, we must also remember to practice current health protocols. Such protocols include wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing to avoid transmission. Stay safe!

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