Miscellaneous Travel Tips for the Circumnavacator to Make Your Life More Comfortable and to Reduce the Number of Times You Yell at Your Travel Partner
Tip #247: When circumnavacating, it is a good idea to eat out cheaply, until it’s not. Fast local food, like fried rice or a bowl of noodles containing whatever-you-want-to-guess for less than 1 USD, is only novel and tolerable for a few days when you first arrive in the country. In order to ensure good nutrition, pony up for at least one tasty, fresh, possibly Western-style, and usually more expensive meal a day, and you can eat street food for the other one (or two, if you get up that early). Give your body some of what it’s used to eating; otherwise, you may end up with iron deficiency or other bodily complaints.
Tip #958: Do bring travel or pack towels. The thick and luxurious bathtowels you enjoy at home are anathema to the slim and lithe travel pack of the experienced circumnavacator or circumnavacatrix. Purchase travel or pack towels from REI or another outlet: they are extremely lightweight, very efficient in absorbing water, and quick to dry. Just launder well and often. Addendum: The circumnavacator may be able to do with a small pack towel that wraps around the waist, but the circumnavacatrix may wish to opt for a larger version that will cover the entire torso. Now you’ll have more space in your luggage, and you’ll always know where your towel is (Adams 1979).
Tip #120: Do not take your malaria medicine on an empty stomach. It will ruin your day, and it will ruin your day repeatedly if you forget. Doxycycline (the most common one-a-day version) or mefloquine/ Larium (taken once-a-week and can produce vivid dreaming) induces fast-acting nausea on an empty stomach. The best of mornings on the beach can be ruined if you are reduced to kneeling in the sand. Malaria medication is advised for a number of countries and areas which are prone to mosquitos (and recommendations vary depending on your country), so do some thorough research about your travel destinations, or make an appointment with your local doctor, and watch as she opens up Google to try the same thing!
Tip #567: Have a relaxing drink outside in public. Open-container laws are a non-entity in many countries around the world, including Austria, Germany, Laos, Switzerland, and Taiwan (and for all intents and purposes, Thailand). Drink responsibly: it’s not a chance to abuse the hospitality of your host country by smashing a few bottles in the public park. But it is a chance to include a beer with your French fries and burger outside McDonald’s, have a cold one on the beach, or chill on the street outside a 7-Eleven with your best buds. Plus, you’ll never get sick of the secretive thrill that comes with breaking a taboo that has been so culturally ingrained in you! We sure haven’t!
Tip #312: Give the second city a chance. In a way, we are speaking of Chicago, home for this team of circumnavacators. We are also speaking of other cities around the world, who are not necessarily the capital or the best known city in their country. But consider staying a while in those second cities: Kaohsiung or Tainan instead of Taipei, Chiang Mai instead of Bangkok. Capital cities tend to have the highest buildings and most famous attractions and temples. But second cities usually have similar amenities like good public transportation, fast food and Western restaurants, even an American consulate, but with a significantly cheaper cost of living and a more relaxed atmosphere. You could even meet more locals and enjoy less pollution if you play your cards right.
More excerpts from the Book of Circumnavacation to come!