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Blend In With The Locals

One of the things I stress to anyone I talk to about travel – client, potential client, friend or family – is how important it is to blend in with the locals when you travel.

Travel should not be about standing out in a new city, town, state, country or continent. It should be about immersing yourself within that destination. Leaving behind any preconceived notions and prejudices and just being there with your whole heart and soul. Standing, walking, dancing, eating – all side by side with the people who call the destination you are in, home.

You may be thinking “I love this way of approaching travel Thia – but how does one blend in with the locals? What do you suggest?” Well, my friends – you’re in luck, as I have plenty of thoughts on how to do this. And you can check them all out below, where I have listed for you just a few of the many ways that blending in with the locals can be accomplished. Let’s take a look.


Learn The Language

Image by Oli Lynch from Pixabay

You’re going to a foreign country that you have never visited before. They do not speak English – or whatever your native tongue happens to be. If you want to blend in with the locals, you don’t have to do anything drastic like feign an accent – but you should take the time to learn their language. And no – I don’t mean a full on three- or four-week Rosetta Stone course. Just the basics will do. Hello. Good-bye. Please. Thank you. You’re welcome. Start with common pleasantries and manners. You will want to add more of course – based on what you are going to be doing while you are there. For instance – if you will be taking public transportation you may want to learn how to say different phrases than you would if you were renting a car and driving on your own the whole time. Or if you are planning on taking a class or learning a new skill while there, as opposed to just say – touring museums and monuments – there will be different words and questions you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Do them that courtesy and they will be more likely to embrace you and receive you warmly.

Know The Customs and Etiquettes

Photo by Kamaji Ogino from Pexels

One thing you want to avoid at all costs while visiting a new destination is insulting the locals. And one sure fire way to do that is to disrespect their customs and / or rules of etiquette. Therefore – be sure and read up on such things prior to travel so that you have a good grasp of what goes and what are no-noes. For instance – in some cultures it may be disrespectful to tip – no matter how great the service is or how much you feel that it is not right to not leave a gratuity. This is something you are definitely going to want to know beforehand to avoid insulting your waiter, taxi driver, bellman, etc. Each foreign land we visit will undoubtedly have a set of written rules – regarding customs – and unwritten rules when it comes to etiquette. Take the time to learn what they are prior to traveling.

Follow Suit When It Comes To Clothing        

Photo by Ruben Hutabarat on Unsplash

Now don’t take that literally – I am not advising you to wear a suit – I am advising you to dress like the locals. Do the research. Check out the current styles. For instance – find out if most restaurants are laid back and casual dress is no problem or if you need to pack something more formal when dining out. Is it a country known for its modest approach to dress? If so – then tone down your wardrobe. One sure fire way to stick out like a sore thumb when you are in a foreign land is how you do – or don’t – dress. And if there is a customary piece of clothing that one or both genders wear that you do not have access to at home – take extra money and purchase it while there. Trust me – it could make a big difference in how you will be received.

Don’t Be The Tacky Tourist

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

We all know who I am talking about. They have a camera and a video recorder hanging around their neck, a backpack with maps sticking out of it and a book of foreign languages in hand. Yes – I said you need to learn the basics of the native tongue – but you don’t have to waive the book around while you are out in public as if to loudly proclaim “I didn’t do my homework.” And – electronics have come a long way – you can downsize to an all-in-one camera / video apparatus that is not the size of a professional photographers – i.e. – that’s more discreet. Or – just use your phone. Most of them these days have cameras and video recording features with high enough quality to capture your memories just fine. And yes – a backpack is a great place to stash the maps and the language guide – but they can be neatly stowed inside. No need to broadcast them.

Change Your Currency

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Again – you are in their country. Do not expect them to take your currency or worse don’t put up a fuss if they don’t. There’s a reason why there are currency exchange booths before you even leave the airport (although I don’t recommend doing it there – but that is another blog). And that brings up another point – carry cash. It doesn’t have to be huge amounts – take what you need for the day and leave the rest in the safe at the hotel. But don’t depend on your credit card – especially in more remote destinations. And for heaven’s sake – once again – do not act like it’s the end of the world if they don’t take credit cards.

Eat What They Eat

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Skip the chains and head for the locally owned restaurants and diners. Better yet – check out the food truck scene if they have one because it’s hard to get any more authentic than food truck fare! And so you are not totally surprised when you look at your first menu – do some leg work and check out what the most popular dishes are. That way if you are presented with something you cannot fathom eating – instead of making gagging noises or otherwise voicing your disdain – and thus insulting your server and the locals dining around your – you can quietly opt out of ordering it.


You see my friends – it’s not hard to blend in with the locals. Perhaps you have already been taking a few – or all – of these simple steps to prepare for your journey into unknown territories. And remember, when you book with Thia I will make sure to assist you in finding out all you need to know prior to travel so that you can blend in with the locals beautifully and get the full cultural immersion you desire. Have a place in mind? Contact me today and let’s start curating an amazing adventure for you!

Yours in travel,



Travel The World While You Can

For those of us that live to travel, losing pretty much an entire year of being able to do so hit us hard. I think that even if you don’t have that intense passion for travel as I do – most of us enjoy getting away – at the very least once a year – for say, an annual summer vacation. And even that was taken away from a large percentage of us. What I discovered the past few months for not only myself but for the many of you that I have talked with as we start planning your return to travel is that the end result is that now that we realize how unexpectedly the freedom to travel can be stripped away from us – we vow never take it for granted again. And so, my friends – my message today is really quite simple – and based on the events of the past years upheaval in the travel industry. Travel the world while you can.


Time Is of The Essence

Photo by Larry Crayton on Unsplash

You know it. I know it. Life is short. One day you are awaiting the birth of your first child and the next you are sending your youngest off to college. With all that we have going on in our busy lives it seems that travel takes a back burner for many of us. We all have that list of cities, countries and even continents that are on our “list” of places we want to see. And along with that list we have excuses why we aren’t booking those trips. Things like – I’ll go when I’m more settled in my career or when I have extra money or when the kids are older or when I retire – this list could go on and on. And yes – there’s an extremely high likelihood that the destination you are dreaming of will still be there – but why wait? Why is it that so many of us deny ourselves the one thing we often need the most – a vacation, an adventure, a break from our routines? That answer is going to be different for each of you, but my feeling is that when you have within your soul a destination you feel you must see before you leave this earth, don’t put it off. Go. Enjoy. And then plan your next destination when you return. And the next one after that. There are so many amazing places to see across the globe – if you want to see the world – make it a priority – not an afterthought.

There Are No Age Requirements

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I started traveling at a young age, continued traveling as I grew up, through my young adult years right on up until this very moment. And I will continue traveling through middle age, as a senior citizen – right up until the day I leave this earth. My point? Travel the world no matter what age you are. You are never too young or too old to start exploring the world around you. And I think – actually I know – that at each stage in your life – travel will affect you differently. The experiences you have in a strange new land when you are a teenager – take on a different meaning when you are older and grayer. (Which when you think about it – pretty much goes for everything in life – not just travel.) From the people you meet, the cultures you are introduced to, the foods you sample, the activities you take part in – all will affect you in some form or another. They may change the way you have perceived other cultures history and traditions. They may give you an appreciation for a food you never thought you would try – let alone enjoy. They may open your eyes to a new way of doing things. They may – hopefully- release you of long held prejudices against those that are different from you. Let’s be honest – there are hundreds of different ways travel can positively change and shape you. But it will.  And you are never too young or too old to gain new perspectives and make affirmative and often life altering changes.

Be Intentional In Your Travel

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay 

Are you in good health today? Have a steady income? Have vacation or personal time accrued? Then what are you waiting for? You already know things can change in the blink of an eye. If you are able to travel – do it now. Make it your intention to travel and then do it. And when you are traveling be intentional in that as well. How? Don’t be thinking about your job or the weather back home or whatever else is going on where you are not.  Clear your mind, open your eyes and ears and take in every single minute of every single day when you are visiting somewhere you have never been before. Trust me – worrying about things back home is not going to stop them from happening – plus 99% of the things we worry about never do happen. So just let it all go and immerse yourself in where you are, what you are learning, who you are meeting, what you are tasting – all of it – be intentional and the wonders of the experience as well as the memories you create – will stay with you a lifetime.


My friends there are so many reasons to travel the world while you can. No one knows what tomorrow is going to bring – the pandemic was a pretty rude awakening to that fact. You know that old saying “don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today?” It applies to travel too. Trust me – and then contact me to start planning your next adventure and travel the world while you can!

Yours in Travel,


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