How to stay the same after your travels

1. Don’t mingle with the locals. Don’t chat with that old lady selling flowers at the market or the 12-year-old selling postcards by the road. Be convinced that the only locals you need to speak to are your hotel receptionist and tour guide.

2. Don’t try any of the local food. Avoid the kebab in Istanbul, the noodles in Beijing and the nasi lemak in Kuala Lumpur. These are all evil foods because you don’t know what the heck is inside them. Stick to KFC, McDonald’s and pizza. And banana pancakes.

3. Don’t aim to learn anything about the local culture. Don’t make any plans to go to the theatre, visit a street market or attend a cooking class.

4. Don’t plan to make new friends on your trip. You might chat with the people you meet, but don’t ask anything about them, what they do, where they’re going or the people they love. Be preoccupied with updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

5. Don’t accept offers from strangers. Don’t accept tea from shopkeepers or dinner invites from concerned grandmothers you meet in the market. Don’t accept offers from men who want to give you a tour of the city. Everyone, but everyone, has bad intentions.

6. Don’t plan to learn something new every day.  There is nothing more that you need to know about life and how beautiful it is.

7. Miss the opportunity to see a sunrise in a new country.

8. Avoid the poor areas of the town you’re in. Go only to the expensive shopping malls. You don’t need to see how the other half lives. You don’t need to be aware of poverty.

9. Mix only with your own kind. If you’re Asian, mix only with Asians who speak your language. If you speak English, hang out only with those who do. You haven’t got the time to expand your horizons or learn anything from anyone who is different from you.

10. Stay at home.


© 2012 – 2014, Anis. All rights reserved.

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13 Responses

  1. A good list. It’s like you’re talking about me, haha! I’m guilty of all the charges at one time or another but never all in one go.

    By the way, trying to watch sunrise in England is a bit optimistic, I’d reckon 😉

    • Anis says:

      I am most guilty of no.9 because it’s so nice to be able to speak Malay overseas when you meet someone else who can speak it too.

      It’s true what you said about waking up early enough to see a sunrise in England..especially in summer!

  2. prav says:

    Came across your blog from another travel blog – love reading about your experiences!

    so refreshing to find another malaysian female traveler, not many of us 🙂

  3. Hannah says:

    Love, love, love this list!

    Reminds me of many Brits/ Europeans/ Americans I’ve seen on my travels who are just interested in partying and ‘doing’ a country. “yeah, I did Thailand.” “So where did you go?” “You know… full moon party, that kind of thing…”.

    Although saying that I am guilty of number 9 – more with English speaking than necessarily English though 🙂

  4. Zara AB says:

    Talking about no. 9, it’s quite difficult to talk to your own people (Malaysian) when you see them abroad. Way tooo tough! Hahaha. Kan?

    • Anis says:

      Hi Zara, do you mean that it’s tough because they’re unapproachable or that you don’t see many Malaysians abroad?

  5. Zara AB says:

    Sure will do!

  6. Hidung Besar says:

    To a first approximation the list is a good one. However, there is a deeper problem: people are different mostly because they don’t mix. Given abundant travel and opportunity to mix, the world is bound to homogenize, environmental and political differences aside. ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’ wouldn’t be the UK’s favorite dish without some covert cultural exchange, and I’d expect the Cubans would drop their ‘love’ for gull wing cars and sepia toned buildings as soon as Delta airways can have direct fights to Miami.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of getting some feel for authenticity and individuality, but I don’t think that is a majority view. So who decided on the mix of retail to go into the ‘pavilion’ mall in KL for example? I don’t think it is there just for the tourists (who are probably broke after forking our for their transcontinental airfare). My guess is that there is a local desire for a more global image.

    Sorry, but I think that is the world we live in. Enjoy the individuality while travel is still the preserve of the privileged. Lets hope a global fuel shortage, and economic collapse put a stop to all this mixing.

  1. July 28, 2012

    […] can also read the same entry here (How to Remain Unchanged After You Travel). I definitely gonna take this as a travel tips. It’s not all about ‘been there and […]