International Travel Hiccups: How to Deal and Enjoy Your Trip

As an avid traveler, I have to say there is nothing I love more than visiting new places; my passion runs deep and my freelance writing career has allowed me to become a citizen of the world. But, as anyone who travels a lot knows, with the sweet always comes the sour. Traveling can be stressful, especially when you go international. All sorts of things will happen, that if you let them, can ruin your good time. Here are some tips for dealing with some of these frustrations more successfully.

Accept What Is in the Moment

The Buddha was a wise man and this was one of his primary teachings; by failing to accept the moment as it is, we suffer…a lot. While I am far from having mastered this wisdom, I get a lot of practice traveling and I have improved somewhat. Things are going to happen that will annoy you, or make you downright furious. You decide to go to a new location on a Sunday only to find out the bus schedules are completely different, and you end up having to pay for some very expensive taxi rides—just happened to me last week in Costa Rica and I was not a happy camper at first. But, I worked on just accepting it, and the situation was much more tolerable. Things will not be what you expect, hotels will not look like the pictures, things will not unfold in the manner you want them to—it is all part of the international travel game, and the more you can accept this, the more pleasant your experience. Trust me.

Keep Perspective

No matter what happens in our lives, we can always choose how to look at the situation; we can choose our reaction. Being human, we do not always choose well. Learning to shift perspective on the things that go wrong, or are not to your liking, when traveling internationally, is a very powerful tool to have in your arsenal. As someone who has spent a lot of time in less wealthy countries, I have learned to accept that white skin equals higher prices; to locals, it is perfectly logical to charge more if people have the ability to pay more. Annoying yes, but hardly a huge problem. Sure, I should have been charged two dollars less for that taxi ride, but it hardly bankrupted me, so I brush it off and move on. Many of the things that happen are really far from tragedies and we can overcome without getting all bent out o shape and cursing the whole culture.

Be Grateful!

Are our births random accidents or are we meant to live a certain life? Who knows? But, what I do know is, many people in this world are in no position to take international vacations, or any vacation at all for that matter. The next time you find yourself getting bent out of shape because you are getting ripped off in Thailand, or stranded in Costa Rica because of an unreliable online bus schedule, just think how lucky you are to even be there in the first place. Living lives of comfort and convenience, it is easy to forget how rough some other people have it; we are ungrateful a lot of the time. This does not make us bad people, we just forget sometimes. Traveling is a perfect opportunity to practice that gratitude. Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer and an avid traveler; she enjoys sharing tips and insights based on her own travel experiences; she recommends visiting www.kanetix.ca for more information on travel insurance for Canadian citizens.