Article – Paul Gioffi Well Weathered Edition 3Michelle @ ISR2018-03-27T11:45:40-07:00
Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations
Monthly Travel Column by Paul W. Gioffi
Disclaimer: While travel can be exciting and rewarding there are unforeseen dangers that may arise. The Information presented in Paul’s articles is the author’s personal opinion and what may have worked for him yesterday may not work for someone else today or tomorrow. Therefore, you agree to use any and all information provided by the author at your own risk and agree that you will hold the author and ISR harmless in regard to any and all instances that may arise or result from use of this material.
Following, you’ll find travel tips number 7, 8 and 9 from Paul W. Gioffi. To read the introduction to this column which began in February of 2006 please see Edition 1. To access other previous editions please see the Index.
Entry 7: Define Your Terms
What are you doing there and why are you doing it? People begin things or take trips for different reasons, in their own countries and overseas. You may be an avid adventure-style traveler who lives out of a backpack and is quite comfortable sleeping under the stars or on the floor of a train station, or you may be a one-week-a-year beach bum who prefers the four star hotel package deal with clean towels and a mint on your pillow. Whatever the case, people are motivated for different reasons. They have different views, beliefs and expectations, and everyone has there own way of processing what they experience. Perhaps you would be better off defining your terms, motives and what you hope to get out of an upcoming trip or project. Setting your heading beforehand can give direction and greater meaning to your travels and help you to cope with setbacks along the way. This practice can be extended and applied to all facets of living, whether traveling or not. Get with your own program. Do the best you can with what you have. Savor the moments. Put things in perspective and appreciate them. Upon returning, or completing whatever endeavor you began, you’ll find the elements of your experience all the more satisfying. Remember, an adventure is just a series of expected inconveniences.
Entry 8: Escape Plan
Whether you’re on Copacabana Beach, Rio De Janeiro, in The Valley of the Kings, Egypt, a bus between Jiang Jia Jie and Shaoshan, China, or on a subway platform in mid-town Manhattan, New York City – have an escape plan and don’t be afraid to use it. Not all situations turn into a life or death matter, but sometimes they can. Bad decisions and a wrong turn can put you in a tight spot. While a little foresight and prediction may keep you out of harm’s way to begin with, everyone lets their guard down from time to time. Sometimes we’re not paying attention and wander into the red zone. If the red zone is where you planned to be initially, then identify the situation’s ‘loose cannons,’ or the variables that could suddenly turn bad. Pick out your exits and avenues of departure. If the situation does become sour, stay calm and quickly adjust your frame of mind to one of survival. When words fail, don’t be embarrassed, fearful or reluctant to do what you need to do in order to ensure your own personal safety or the safety of others with you. When things come down to the wire, a few seconds and a burst of energy can mean the difference between your safe exit and a local funeral.
Entry 9: Enter Well, Exit Well
First impressions are certainly lasting impressions, and you will probably have a tough time shaking off that bad entrance you just made, whether it was verbal, physical or both. Double your trouble if you’re in a foreign land and the locals have just witnessed your chaotic and distasteful display. Why enforce any unwanted stereotypes? It just makes it more difficult to ‘break the ice’ and explain things later. In a similar sense, most people will remember you, and your kind, based upon, not only the content of the encounter, but on the style of your departure. Whether you agree or not, others who don’t really know you have probably already assigned you to a group to which you now represent. Do yourself, and those you represent, a favor by leaving on a positive note. The songwriter Ian Anderson once penned, “As you push off from the shore, won’t you turn your head once more, and make your peace with everyone?”
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s edition of Well-Weathered Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations. Check back next month for a new entry. Until then, safe travels. Contact me at Well_Weathered@yahoo.com