1. Don’t Fight a Glass door
The glass door will win. Whether the glass door is what stands between you and the historical mountain hot springs in Japan that seem so inviting at 4am, or if it’s what’s between you and Federal Donuts on a December night in Philly – don’t do it. You may break the door, but it will break you back.
2. Do jump in an ocean – any ocean.
There’s nothing like jumping into the ocean without land in any direction. But a close second is even wading in without shoes – Rio, California, Mexico, Portugal, Japan, Australia, Africa – you’re usually not that far from water. But remember that in some places you may want to get checked out for parasites after (like in the Nile or Amazon).
3. Do try new forms of transportation…
Never been on a bullet train? Take a ride. Don’t know what a gondola is? Conquer your fear of being strung up on skinny wires. Don’t know what a fiaca is? Hop on.
4. …And do pass the time on Long trips playing mafia
Pass the time in transit playing fun games like Mafia or 21 questions.
5. Do try the See-Food diet (see food and eat it)
But don’t be shy – if you find something you don’t love, don’t eat it again. Try something new. If you’re not eating things that the locals are eating you’re missing out. Sometimes that means McDonald’s at 3am and being the only awake people in the establishment. But sometimes that means a potato on a stick, a banana froyo thing, some snails, or some bugs.
6. Do pack light
Going abroad for a week? Don’t check two bags – try to check none. Unless you want that many souvenirs.
7. Do wander…
Alone or in a group, take advantage of white space. Find that curling stairway that leads nowhere, or the best fried chicken place in a foreign city (it may be a convenience store), find the burger joint at the base of the tower (or the grueling eternity to escape the top). Wander the palaces, museums, plazas, and promenades that have marked the centuries of history.
8. …and do document your memories!
You’ll probably be travelling to some of the most beautiful places on earth. Share your pics with the Wharton community using the #myWharton tag. You’ll be stocked with #TBT instas for life.
9. Do use your language skills
Does your friend need a wingman/woman? Or maybe someone to keep them from getting kicked out / arrested? Or just wants a more authentic meal? Learn a few words, or leverage your own education to get by without using English.
10. Do meet new people
Travelling is an awesome opportunity to forge new friendships. Sharing fried chicken and beer at 4 a.m. to cap off your night on the alleyways of Seoul with friends or sleeping in a Bedouin in the Negev desert with your trek-mates are shared moments that you will never forget.
11. Don’t be a ______
Fit in with your world. Don’t be disrespectful. Don’t be uninformed. If you don’t know about the history of a region read up on it before you arrive. If you don’t know anything about the region buy a tour book, even before a planned trek – you’ll want some options for the white space.