Fifteen things that I have learnt while travelling

Currently we’re in sweltering hot Merida, still in Mexico:

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After leaving South Africa (again) three months ago, I took some time to reflect on what I have learnt during all this time travelling and living out of a suitcase.

Here’s a few points of wisdom that can be applied to travelling and life in general:

1. Never drink coffee in a bed that does not belong to you. Spilled coffee equals stained matrass. In Chile, our ex-friends and then-landlords believed that a coffee stain on a matrass was worth holding our deposit equal to 200USD. Friendship over.

2. Always check that you have money in your bank account before walking to the ATM. It sucks if your transaction is declined and you don’t understand if the ATM is working or if your card isn’t working or if you should call your bank…it saves a lot of time and stress.

3. Art on a wall and plants in a home make the place feel more homely.

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4. Buy fresh flowers. At a market if you can. It makes you feel like a better person.

5. Ask for more toilet paper when you don’t have anymore. It’s awkward, but has to be done. This is something that you have to get used to when you’re an Airbnb or hostel guest. Toilet paper is included in the price you pay. In Spanish it is called papel higienico – hygienic paper.

6. Don’t read on an electronic device in bed. This is difficult for me to stop doing, but it’s a bad time-consuming habit.

7. Wear sunscreen. Even if it makes you look like a ghost on photos.

8. Always buy new soap and toothpaste before the old one is completely finished/ empty. There’s nothing worse than starting a day buy squeezing the last drop out of the toothpaste tube.

9. Be super duper nice to the airhost/ hostess who has to weigh your bags before a flight.

10. Afrikaans is a really cool language. Very few people understand what you say when you skinder (gossip) 🙂 Other travellers are fascinated to learn about our language.

11. Walk away from a vendor or store if you suspect that their giving you a gringo price. You will find what you want to buy at another vendor/ store.

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12. A lighter bag/ backpack is always a better bag/ backpack.

13. Cats are really cool animals!

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But dogs still rule. I just added that, so that I can use this picture

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14. Ask questions. If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t have known that this is a cucumber:

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15. Wash your hands before meals.

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The above picture is of a tlayuda – it’s like a big crispy pie – there’s meat, cheese and beans inside.

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