Last updated on July 17th, 2019 at 05:29 am

You live, You travel, You learn a thing or two

This post was in desperate need of an upgrade. It has been more than five years since we started moving. We have learned a lot, him and me. Travel became part of our identity.

From visas to shots (vaccines :)), to be safe, to seeing, touching, smelling, eating, and digesting things we have only heard about in a magazine. Our prejudice was, thankfully, crushed and our outlook on cultures changed. I hope our highs and lows will help you to figure your stuff out before you start traveling.

You can call the following travel wisdom, general savvy ideas, or just “duh” moment, here they are:

1.   Thou shalt never eat food on a plane again.

On high altitude cabin pressure drops, moisture level changes, and subsequently your taste buds function differently SO for food to have a taste the supplier puts an enormous amount of “stuff” in it.

You name it I can’t eat it: sodium, preservatives to keep if “fresh” longer, colors, etc. That is why I pack a healthy snack with me.

Check out my post on how to pack a healthy snack here!

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Several times I have eaten on the plane and got sick. Might I add, very ill? I am very picky about food and everything around it.

Preparation, presentation, price vs. quality are one of the few things I am concerned. However, when you travel for more than 20 hours no matter what you do you, you do get hungry. After the last time, I vowed to never eat food again on a plane and take stuff with me.

Have you subscribed to my blog? Never miss a post and get a once a month summary of articles in your mailbox today! I hate spam. That is why it is a promise, and a pinky swear, that there is going to be only good stuff and only once a month!

2. Thou shalt check visa requirements or/and how long I can stay in one country or the European Union.

Hey, it happens to the best of us! There was a time when I thought that a Canadian does not need a visa to go to Australia. It turns out, they DO!

And when it comes to the European Union, Canadians only can spend three months at a time.


Read my hilarious story on how we overstayed our welcome in Amsterdam here.

3. Thou shalt CHECK that TAX return policy is not the same everywhere and varies from country to country.

In the European Union, it does so happen that you get your taxes back when you leave the European Union in general and not the country that I am in right now.

Countries like Italy have an expiration date to claim taxes. In this case, I cannot claim your money back after 2.5 months. I was so sorry to see my 30 Euro vanish in vain.

4. Thou shalt be happier with the shots (vaccines). 🙂

Before going to the foreign and not extremely developed nations, I do research about potential setbacks like local diseases. Sometimes I find out that I need additional injections to get next important vaccine or that I was missing some.

AND I know better now not to hope to get those shots to the next destination. Sometimes it is worth it to get everything done in one country where you understand language, system and where Medicare is free.

5. Thou shalt be Safety no matter the cost.

There are many ways to save money, and safe surrounding is not one of them. I would rather spend a little more or sometimes a lot more than I planned but it always pays off in a peace of mind and a deep sound sleep.

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6. Thou shalt know what I want.

I am tempted to say that travel taught me not take a “no” for an answer. But it is not true. I was always like this even before travel. What travel did for me is to eliminate the doubt.

Whether it is a dry cleaner’s bill or a rent contract I always draw up a summary, review, and sign a contract. It has saved me an enormous amount of energy and sometimes money.

Once I had a manager refusing to include a washing machine in our paid electricity upon our arrival during the busy season in Bali.

Side note: it is crucial to have a washing machine when you are staying as a big family with children.

Read my tip on how to rent a house in Bali and stay sane here!

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7. Thou shalt pay cash whenever possible.

Everyone loves cold and hard green!

I never take quotes of taxis or tours at face value. Research, negotiate and then renegotiate and always always always talk about the price before sitting down. The odds will be almost always in my favor if I pay cash.

8. Thou shalt not be fooled.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Unfortunately, there is a moment in everyone’s life when they think that they can get, take, see something for free, on the house, at a small price or receive as a “special promotion.”

I cannot stress enough that if it seems like a good deal in the first five minutes at no cost than it is probably is not worth my time in the first place. It is so sad, but true.

No one and it means corporations, tour agencies, and hotels, will give anyone anything for free because it will ruin their business. In the modern day word, it is called a “tourist trap.”

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9. Thou shalt work out and take better care of myself.

Some people might think that traveling is a piece of cake. While it can be true for some under-the-sun-drinking-beer-doing-nothing-tourists for a week or so, it is entirely different for Mr. K and me.

When you travel in vast distances there is dehydration, jet lag, pulled muscles after long hours of sitting, indigestion, rashes, stress and of course ever-changing climates and cultures which bring the whole other different set of issues.

After a couple of minor setbacks and breakouts, I started paying attention to how much and what I eat, drink and exercise. After a while, it took me about six months; you develop an immune system for the majority of the cases.

Read my post on how I trick myself to work out even when I do not want to.

10. Thou shalt try to stay happy no matter what.

Someone broke into our car to steal your GPS. We had a flat tire in the middle of the Australian outback.  Caught in a ditch bus in the midst of Australian desert.

Obnoxious and accidental landlords who think they can get away with everything. Too hot (+55C) or too rainy season. Pooping everywhere seagulls.

Accidentaly waiting for a decision in a room at a border patrol. A sand storm at 2 a.m. and a camel with indigestion at 5 a.m. during the same night.

Even a poor restaurant choice, which resulted in a three-day carnival around toilet: they all contribute to our life and make it just a bit more enjoyable.

After all, there are so many stories to tell.

You know what happened to me in Taiwan? You will never believe…

Hope you liked and enjoyed the post! DO you have any questions or comments? Please post them right below!

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travel made easy with these tips and learned wisdom.


Always improving one's surroundings.

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