There have been many cases of misconducts done by travelers. One of the most common reasons is cultural misunderstanding. It is true that we live in different places which also means every individual may adopt different cultures, customs, and beliefs. Those lead to different habits and perspectives. Travelling abroad often makes people forget they that may have different cultures. What they consider normalcy at home may be considered offensive or illegal in another country.
Avoid cultural misunderstanding when travel overseas
Misconducts caused by cultural misunderstanding can be mild to severe. Some accidental misbehavior may be forgiven through an apology. However, some others may lead you to get charged by costly fine. Thus, it is always important to avoid cultural misunderstanding when travel abroad. Here are things you can do to respect the local cultures and save yourself from troubles:
Always do your research before visiting the country
Every country has different regulation, cultures, and customs it is your responsibility to learn it beforehand. Look for travel guide during your preparation and read those pages diligently until you understand what should and should not do later when you pay a visit. It only takes few minutes to do online research. Make sure to be aware of the locals’ gestures or expressions that should be avoided. This knowledge can save you from trouble when you are interacting with the locals later. Not to mention that it can you appear open-minded and make a good impression to the locals.
The situation might be different than what you’ve read
During your research, you may read some customs that you think sexist, ridiculous, racist, or offensive to you. However, it is different situation you are going to face with when you are in foreign country. You are a foreigner and you don’t wan to involve in trouble. For example, some countries have their Muslim citizen fasting during Ramadhan. You don’t have to fasting as they do if you happen to visit the place around the time. Respecting their customs can be done by eating privately.
Don’t be that loud tourists
Lots of residents are often disturbed by unruly tourists who are too noisy during their visit. Therefore, it is essential to keep your voice down in public no matter how excited you are visiting the place. It is important to be more sensitive of the level of of noise you make in public during your travel abroad. It is not only done to respect the locals but also to save yourself from being too standout in the crowd. When you are too loud, you are easy to spot and you may unconsciously make yourself a target of a crime.
Learn the locals
Learn few phrases of the local language to show your respect and to showcase polite gesture. You don’t have to spend months to learn the local language. You also don’t have to become fluent in local language. You can learn simple phrases to say ‘’thank you’’, ‘’I am sorry’’, or ‘’excuse me’’. Keep in mind that not all people speak English.