Foreign Travel - International Travel
Just How Foreign Is It?

"I'm impressed that you' have all that foreign travel experience.
It makes your tips real...

But have you really been to all the countries you write about?"


We usually answer questions individually, but we get asked this a lot....

The answer is YES, we've been to all the countries we write about

We love foreign travel.

See our FAQ page for more on that.

We usually say we're traveling internationally.

I mean, with the internet and television, we've all become more and more aware of what's going on in the world...

And international travel sounds sophisticated, glamorous...

But when you start to think about visiting far-away places, especially for the first time, somehow that's different, more personal.

You are traveling to a different nation, probably a different continent, and now some things might be really different...

...Foreign even.

So foreign travel is probably how you're thinking about your trip right about now.

The dictionary says foreign means...

    1. of, from, in or characteristic of a country or language other than one's own
    -- or --
    2. strange and unfamiliar

Hummmm..... Characteristic of a country other than one's own... that doesn't sound so bad.

But strange and unfamiliar? THAT sounds a little scary.

But hold on... we think foreign travel is a true education.  You learn about foods and fashions and cultures. 

Foreign isn't strange... it's just different. Wonderfully different.

So Just How Foreign Is Foreign Travel?

Foreign Language

You deplane and suddenly that hum of words around you does sound unfamiliar and strange.

What does that foreign language sign mean?

I mean, even English as spoken in other English speaking counties can sound foreign.

I remember an Indian rug dealer speaking to me...

And me apologizing for only speaking English...

...when he said, "But Madam, I AM speaking English," Oops!

English speakers do have an edge though. You just have to listen carefully and speak slowly. If you are speaking English with non-native speakers or native English speakers with an accent you aren't used to, it just takes a little more patience listening. Read more about our tips for dealing with a foreign language.


Foreign Money

Foreign money looks different

Most money is divided decimally somehow.

They may not call it dollars and cents, but the denominations will make sense once you study them. (A pun I couldn't resist... sorry.)

Take your time when you're paying and getting change. We have a whole page on how to get and handle foreign money.

Foreign Toilets

Eastern style toilet

This one is always good for stories!

Yes they can range from the western style "throne" to a porcelain hole-in-the-ground.

If you're handicapped, using the squat style can pose a problem.

For western travelers, you're more apt to run into those "eastern style toilets" in more rural areas and on adventure tours... and if you're on an adventure tour, this will just add to your stories.

We have more on foreign toilets too.


Foreign Dress

Fashions around the world are wonderfully different.

Saris in India are beautiful.

Kente cloth dresses and 'turbans" make African markets a swirl of colors.

In most countries men won't have a problem with dress.

Women have to be a little more attentive... you may want to dress conservatively, but you don't have to dress like a local.

Unless you want to....

Fashions at Pakistan Wedding

And there are times when you may want to...

When we went to a wedding in Pakistan, I purchased a couple of shalwar camises simply because I felt drab and under dressed in my western clothes.

I didn't have to, but it was fun to shop for them, and they're fun souvenirs that I still put on once in a while.

If you are traveling in countries where women routinely wear head scarves or cover up with burkas or abayas, you need to research how you should dress. But generally as long as you are dressed modestly, you will be fine. They know you are a visitor.

Foreign Food

Dumpling Dinner in Xian China

Well that's part of why you travel isn't it?

To try different foods, see the different way they're served.

Plastic Models?  But what if you're in Japan and there is no English menu? Well, in upscale restaurants, there will probably be someone who speaks English.

But in many restaurants there window displays with elaborate plastic models of the food being served. You can just point to what you want to try.

Can't read Greek? I remember times in small towns in Greece where the taverna owner would take us into the the kitchen to see what they were cooking, and we'd pick and choose our lunch or dinner.

Just Take A Chance.  Sure you might feel a little unsure of yourself... is that what you really think it is? But whenever we've had experiences like this, we've had good meals and lots of fun.

Locals and a phrase book will help.  If you're in small restaurants in France or Germany or Italy, the menu may not be translated for you. If you're lucky and are in such a small place that no one speaks English, your phrase book will help, the staff (probably the owner) will try hard to make sure you have a good idea what you're getting... and you'll probably have a wonderful meal.

Foreign Greetings

You may find that greetings are different in foreign parts...

"Namaste" with the praying hands gesture is common in India,

And in Japan you may be greeting people with a little bow.

You should always greet a French shopkeeper with a polite "Bon Jour".

You may never look... or sound... like a local, but at least give those polite greetings a try. It's all part of the experience.

So foreign travel makes you stretch.... that's the beauty of it... it's different. That's WHY we want to travel the world. To experience all those wonderful differences. Foreign travel helps us understand and appreciate our differences.... and it's like we say at the bottom of every page... We believe that travel promotes understanding and understanding promotes peace.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.


Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Infringement Tool

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

Go from Foreign Travel to MouseToursTravels Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Ready For A New Adventure?

We escape by traveling…
But there are more ways to escape. 
Work on something you LOVE…

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Timely Tips

The New Year is here...
What are your resolutions? To lose weight? To Exercise more?
Why not a FUN resolution!
Resolve to TRAVEL!
It's a good time to plan your travels...

And we have lists to help....

Custom Tour Planning List

Destination stories....
Europe Travel Tips
Africa Dream List
See America

Travel Planning
International Travel Planning Tips
Guidebooks can help you plan

Don't Forget Valentine's Day
Romantic Weekends

What About Your Passport?
Time to get one... or renew...

Answers about Passports and Visas

Dreaming of Warm Weather or Snow?

Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lake, Iceland


Packing for a Tropical Vacation
Cold Weather Packing List

…Or just make a resolution to explore more pages here and get ideas for travel destinations and how to get there.

NOW is the time to start planning for a great trip this year.

Search

Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster..
.

Translate

We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...

Updated Tips & New Travel Stories

  1. Norway Fjord Drive - A Great Way to See The Country

    A Norway Fjord drive rather than a cruise lets you see the fjords from many angles... and see the countryside too. Here's one itinerary to think about.

    Read More

  2. What Are Hotels Called In Different Languages?

    A hotel is called a hotel or an auberge or a locanda. It depends on what language you're looking in. So what are hotels called? We'll give you some names.

    Read More

  3. Is the Water Safe?

    Water safety includes knowing when to drink only bottled water, when and where you can swim... Is the water safe is a good question to ask yourself.

    Read More

Two Ways To Like Us!

Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!

Navigate Our Site

Related Pages
on
Trip Planning

Guide Books
Why Travel With A Guidebook

How to Choose A Travel Guidebook
Travel Guidebook Types to Choose From

Travel Agents
A Travel Agent - Do You Need One?

Choosing Destinations
Best Time To Go

What Kind Of Trip Do You Want
More Than Throwing Darts

Some of Our Ideas
Stories About Europe
Why Not Africa?
North America
International Travel Tips

What Kind of Vacation?
Group Tour

Independent Travel
Driving Vacations
Adventure Travel
Active Travel - OK, How Active?
Multigenerational Vacations

Eco-Travel and Volunteering
Green Travel Tips
Sustainable Tourism
Volunteer Vacations - Are They For You?
Try Volunteer Vacations Close to Home

Plan For Safety
Travel Advisories - Plan A Safe Trip

Don't Let Travel Worries Get To You
Keep Traveling

Planning Itineraries
A Custom Tour?
Custom Tour Planning List
Custom Tour Ideas
Top Ten Lists - Helpful, But…
Balance Your Itinerary - Mix It Up
Avoid Museum Sensory Overload
Hobbies for Trip Ideas
Where To Get Trip Ideas

Preparation
Get Passports and Visas

Travel Documents
Vaccinations and Meds 
Travel Preparation

Checklists So You Don't Forget
Travel Document Checklist

Travel Preparation Checklist
Home Departure Checklist
Pre-Departure Checklist