lessons i learned this year from traveling

Every time I draft a bucket list it always end up looking like a gag show. So instead of wasting my time coming up with one, I decided to look at travel in reverse. After all, most memorable travel experiences are only funny in retrospect.

Here are the things that I learned this year in between transits around the world:

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Be ready to show your undies

When on the road, people are hornier than a toad. Unless you are traveling with a chastity belt or you are on protozoa mode (asexual), chances are somebody will see you  almost  naked. Bacon undies and granny panties will only get you as far as Miss Guatemala—always in the pageant but no luck on the crown. So you can bring home your bacon with you.

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Happy hour gets old

A lot of you will agree when I say getting wasted is fun. Until people started making fun of you and upload photos and videos that will give your parents myocardial infarctions and your friends a lifetime worth of reunion jokes at your expense. See, getting drunk is like your childhood, everybody remembers what you did, except you. So it’s about time to grow up.

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Set your expectations low

“It’s smaller than I thought” You’ll hear this in 20+ different languages when you visit the Mona Lisa, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Bruno Mars. Most often than not, major tourist destinations are saturated with businesses and tourists so expect the litters, long lines of queues, hawking vendors and the organized chaos that are not in the postcard photo that you dreamed of seeing your whole life.

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Wet wipes may save your life

The wooden dresser is to Narnia as to public Asian toilet is to hell. Devoid of happiness and rolls of toilet papers, trips to the public loos are those that I ain’t excited about and wet wipes may one day save you from its horrors. Unless you are creative enough like me to use alternative unconventional options, like receipts and bus tickets. #TrueStory

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Forex will deceive you

So when people owes you money, say I got 1,000 Kyats from Gay in Myanmar, Dong owes me 5,000 riels in Cambodia, I have 10,000 dongs from Marky in Vietnam and Monette borrowed 7,000 kips in Laos. Computing who owes how much will take a toll on you. Then we go back home and realized that your combined invested fund is less than 5 bucks.

Bullcrap! I could’ve just saved my neurons from doing math.

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Keep on moving

We will meet people, we may fall in love, but travelers’ rules are simple. By the time one has to move to the next destination, breathe the memories, pack the bags, say goodbye and never look back.

Staying in touch is an option, while totally forgetting what happened is universally acceptable. Because by default, there is an unspoken understanding that travelers are strong, gutsy and if there is one thing we are really good at, it should be the art of MOVING ON

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Traveling is a learning process. Learn from the minutest details most of us will take for granted. Experiences are only as good as the lessons we take home from it.

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What have you learned this year?