My Biggest Travel Tip: Learn to Use Chopsticks!
Weird right? "Chopsticks?" you may be saying "Why learn to use chopsticks?"
By saying Learn to use Chopsticks though, I actually mean SO much more:
Learn to adopt the cultures of the areas around you, learn their customs, their practices, what their day to day lives are like.
When you travel, your sole intent should not be to get away, you should also look to improve your view of life, to re-evaluate your plans, and to better yourself as a whole. While a break from reality is always nice, learning to use this time for self-improvement can be a much needed bonus.
So back to the all-important chopsticks; lets say you are traveling through Asia and you stop for a bite to eat. Most places you go, unless it's a western restaurant or fast-food place, will serve the food with chopsticks. Now, you don't want to seem like a tourist (because lets face it, no one wants to actually look like a tourist) so you pick up the chopsticks and start jabbing away at you food. Little do you realize that everyone else is staring, pointing, laughing as you struggle with your utensils. I'd say that's EMBARESSING!
Soup and Chopsticks? Yep!
And this goes for many other places across the globe as well: know that Ethiopian food is typically eaten with your hands, or that Norwegians eat the burgers with forks and knives!
Horse Meat? Yep! Go to Iceland!
So learn how to use the chopsticks, learn how to order a meal in a foreign language, learn how to say "Thank you" "Hello" and "How are you" in different languages. You'll be happy you did, the people will thank you for it, and you'll have one more skill to add to your (already packed) list of talents.
Part of calling yourself a world traveler or nomad, is the constant adaptations you make when switching from one culture to the next. Know when those norms change, and learn how to live within them without making a fool of yourself!