When you're traveling for the first time you really need to make sure people like you, and fortunately, if you're American, everyone will like you all the time. That is a guarantee. Here are a few of the easiest ways to make sure people like you when you're traveling.
1. Mock every ones' accent. That's right, when you are in a place where people talk "funny" or different, then it is OK to mock their accent. They appreciate the effort you have put in to trying to fit in with the locals.
Mimicry is a form of flattery, right? And no, they wouldn't be impressed by you learning the local language. Mock their accents. It's cute... and funny. Just don't let them mock your accent, because that's insulting to America.
2. Name that country. Guess where people are from all of the time. If you meet someone else who is a traveler, then try to guess their home country. Double points for doing it in a mock version of their accent.
3. Wear a fanny pack. Oddly enough the fanny pack is a very practical piece of clothing. It screams cool. It is like having a pocket on your belly. Be sure to get the "throw back to the 80's" colors and save big bucks on that radical hot pink pack!
4. Wraparound sunglasses are not just for the old and moldy anymore. They give you a whole new look. Like putting your middle finger up to the world and saying "Hey world, I don't care what people think about me."
You can even buy the 4-pack of wraparounds. That's, right, have one pair for you and 3 pairs for each of your friends who don't want to be seen with you while under direct sunlight.
But seriously, do the math. They block sun from all directions and work with any prescription. While wraparounds might be bulkier than those Ray Bans, this is why you got the fanny pack.
5. Talk loud if you are an American. People love to hear us talk about things even if we know nothing about whatever it is we are talking about. That's the beauty of being American, the sound of our voice speaking above everyone else is considered a compliment in other countries.
The trick is to talk just loud enough so that everyone can hear your conversation. This way they will know when they can chime in to your conversation. It's a great way to meet people. This method works doubly good if you're at a local pub.
Speaking louder also helps when you are talking to people who speak other languages. If they can't understand you, it is because you are talking to softly. No need to learn a new language.
6. Everyone is impressed by the US. If you are staying in any hostels or hotels and don't feel that the service has been good enough then just remind the clerk that you're an American. Remind them also how good you have it back home and how if you were there you would have gotten a discount or free food. People around the world love to hear these things. Remember, everyone is impressed by the USA.
7. When I was in... When you are traveling and meet someone who talks about another, even cooler, place that they have been, then you should always one-up them by stating a place that you have been which is an even cooler place than theirs! HA!
It is easy to prepare for this exchange, as these conversations often begin with "When I was in such and such..."
This game of one-upsmanship is a vital tool in gaining "street cred". It's guaranteed to earn immediate respect amongst other travelers.
Traveling is a lot of fun and can be even better if people think you are cool. Follow these simple steps to be considered cool by almost everyone you meet and make your travel a memorable one.
And if you think that "Tongue in Cheek" is a make out exercise then you should definitely follow these rules.
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