Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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44 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m DW Life > happens and everyone starts laughing, and you join in, it feels good because humor exists no mat- ter what culture you're in." She points out that local people are curious about us, too. "ey think, 'Who are these Americans who just walked in the door?' en you find that conversation may arise." ere are many apps for learning some basics in another language. Google Trans- late is useful in countries that have a dif- ferent alphabet, as it translates words in that alphabet to show to the person you are trying to converse with. Use the Mem- rise app to memorize foreign words and phrases with the help of mnemonic tricks. If you can afford to treat yourself, con- sider using a site like EatWith.com that lets you choose a dining experience in the home of a local chef with several other vis- itors. For instance, in Tel Aviv you can join up to 20 others for a buffet-style Shabbat dinner for $42. Cooks in cities all over the world participate. 4 Try Journalling A travel journal may end up being your favorite souvenir. Writing helps you sort through what you experi- ence and will remind you of details years later. A beautiful, lightweight journal that fits in your day bag makes writing a plea- sure. One example is JournalandCo's $8 handmade "Adventure Awaits" with acid- free paper. Find many other beautiful journals on Etsy. 5 Cover Yourself Keep cash stowed in several dif- ferent places in case your wallet or purse is stolen. A few sneaky hiding spots: rolled up in a clean but fastened diaper or in an empty shampoo bottle—or even, if tightly rolled, in the casing of a pen. Experts warn that you should never put cash in your checked luggage. Keep your money and passport on your body at all times. A money belt or leg wallet are good options. Once you get to your destination, leave a "dummy wallet" with expired cards visible in your baggage so a rushed thief might grab that and run. Remember to photocopy your passport and credit cards so you can easily call to report them stolen if need be. Keep these photocopies separate from the originals at all times. 6 Act Like Your Live There Hotels are wonderful, but stepping outside their protectiveness can lead to wonderful situations. Booking a space through Airbnb lets you dictate how you stay: Do you want a room in a household with your host (and the pos- sible friendly interactions that can arise)? Or do you want your own apartment, or an entire house? e Airbnb rating sys- tem lets you select a vetted site. You may adore the neighborhood where you find yourself, and the rental relieves you of eating every meal in a restaurant. 7 Use Travel Apps ere are as many travel apps as there are destinations. Here are a few good ones. Hopper: is app lets you see the cheapest airfare within a month-view calendar and will notify you when to buy. Hotel Tonight: If your housing falls through at the last minute, this app col- lates last-minute deals on unsold hotel rooms; book in under 10 seconds. Citymapper: is public transporta- tion app assists with subways, bus and train lines, even ride sharing. If you can barely hear transit announcements (es- pecially in another language), the app tells you when to deboard. XE Currency Converter: is app pro- vides live exchange rates for every cur- rency, and you can also store them offline. Flashlight: If your phone doesn't have this function, this app turns it into a flashlight for use in hotel rooms when you can't find the light switch. BringFido: A handy app that helps you locate dog-friendly restaurants, hotels, and the ever-necessary park. Tip: Download apps before leaving home to avoid a potentially nasty fee. 8 Truly See Sometimes travelers are so bent on freezing a moment with a camera that they never see what's happening. Or they capture so many photos that they are overwhelmed going through several hundred (or thousand?) when they get home. Here's a radical retro suggestion: pretend you're back in the days of 35mm film and you only get 24 exposures on a roll. Decide in advance how many "rolls" you'll take on your trip and stick to it. You will then be forced to evaluate the best way to document something, rather than taking a dozen shots. You also may find yourself choosing not to take a picture and instead observing with greater focus. Another out-there suggestion: make a pledge not to take selfies. 9 Choose a Wild Destination Consider broadening your destina- tion list this year. Find the quirky, outside-your-comfort-zone places that will expand your understanding. For in- stance, try Vietnam for its culture, food, and beaches. Or, closer to home, off-the- beaten-track Dominica, instead of one of the many Caribbean islands that are cruise ship destinations. You don't have to go overseas to have an amazing expe- rience; many places in the United States will push your limits. 10 Travel Safe e vast majority of foreign countries are safe for Ameri- can travelers—but some are not. is list can change at any time, so before plan- ning a trip, check the State Department Alerts and Warnings for up-to-date infor- mation. DW Erika Mailman has written for Art & Antiques, Arts & Crafts Homes, Via, and other publications, and is a published historical novelist ( erikamailman.com ). THINKSTOCKPHOTOS Strike up a conversation with the strang- er at the table next to you.

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