Consider Your Manners of Traveling Abroad Part 1: They Must Be Americans

It was a hot day, so when the couple finished their morning position on the beach, they made their choice for a little shopping – in bathing suits. Wrapping a transparent skinny handkerchief near the bottom of his bikini, he, in a flip-flop and a sewn-on T-shirt, saluted to the sheikh’s small shop on the main highway. The audience sighed and stared. The mother covered the eyes of her cheeky children. Mature men and women shouted or shook their heads. “They must be Americans,” one of the vendors deliberately whispered to one vendor. Unfortunately, she was right.

When traveling, whether for business, leisure or leisure, he pays attention to his manners. Americans in particular are becoming increasingly known for their disrespectful behavior while abroad. I said getting up? The image of the “ugly American” is already too common. Unfortunately, the stereotype of loud conversations, quirky, inadequately dressed, wealth-rich American foreigners who paint their way of life while traveling is unfortunately in some respects too real, in too many cases. As anti-American sentiment grew around the world, international corporations from Microsoft to McDonald’s and business publications such as the Wall Street Journal approached this topic over and over again. Here are some tips on how to promote a better, smarter, educated and respectful image while traveling abroad.

Know the local geography

Planning a trip abroad? The first order of a business is to get a map and study it. Imagine how the city and its surroundings are laid out. Know important sites and attractions. Many good guides give important information about the detour. This can be especially important if the system of writing the non-Western alphabet is used in the local language. On a recent trip to Colombia, my wife and I enjoyed listening to a foreigner explain compass instructions to his family – wrong. It had directions to the north and south, despite the west Pacific.

Dress moderately

It is not enough to say about paying attention to the local dress code and customs. In many countries it is contemptuous for women to dress casually, showing off bare skin or body parts, in public. Bare hairy breasts or legs on display, even for men, can be considered offensive in many cultures. If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask discreetly or check informative sites for information on local customs. Useful rule: no bare legs, torso, back and arms when you are in public. Imitate the clothes of the locals to make sure you respect their cultural norms. Amber’s Indian women tend to be graceful in their culture, disguised by colorful wraps when they visit non-Indian towns and villages along the Pacific coast of South America so that they respect the social norms of their neighbors. Men-ambers, in ordinary fabrics of thread, wear T-shirts and trousers outside their villages for the same reasons.

See what and how you speak

Your speech reflects who and what you are. It can be a useful tool for melting crops or ramming discontent. Don’t create resentment by continuous pranks about “wealth,” power, business, and social status. People still hear how “inferior” their life path may seem to you.

In the second part of this three-part series, we will look at what to say and how to say it while traveling abroad: “Address the manner when traveling: religion is taboo and politics is not.”

Please feel free to email me comments or questions at: