10 Things I Do/Collect when I Travel abroad.

 Just arrived back home this morning from Siam Reap. Oh and yes after my India trip, I took a one week trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, departed to Ho Chi Minh City, a 7 hours bus to Phnom Penh, and a 7 hours bus to Siam Reap. I really thought I could be writing a traveling blog instead long time ago. but I suppose that’s not my focus even though interest. There are many things I could say about traveling though I am not a full-time traveler, I travel occasionally based on conferences and events abroad,

So yes, you will get a mixture of different experience eventually because I am exposed to socioeconomic, NGO, and institutions activities abroad too, that makes me connected to locals in which, indirectly will provide my local hospitality. I could seriously start up a category based on traveling or a blog on it on what I have gone through because it’s never a tour packaged trip. But I thought to cut the story short, I will share the 10 things I do or collect when I am abroad =) (p/s I hope I could attach some pictures for better illustration but think words speak themselves..)

  • 1) Walk into the SuperMarket/ Wet Market to observe the products trend and locality of it – I really agree that by observing market shelves, for example, groceries itself, you could get a picture of how dependable the country is, in import and exporting terms and realizing the daily diet and also any special necessities. Most tour groups don’t do this, well.
  • 2) Collect Local Bottles/ Can – My sis collects can or bottles from any country, well I would find one with good written local words on it and bring it back home. This is a little mess up because last time I forgot to check in my glass bottle and ended up couldn’t take back =/
  • 3) Collect Postcards – I think it’s the easiest and worthy thing to be collected along the way.. and also budget friendly.. and the best thing to give out with your personal words on it.. rather souvenirs.
  • 4) Collect Badges – Pin badges I mean, yes it’s going to be 2-3 used for one.
  • 5) Read the local English newspaper – Of course, the English newspaper if it’s possible because I simply couldn’t read Cambodian or Vietnamese right.. but by taking a good 30 minutes over a newspaper throughout the few days trip, you will realize a lot of things on how the media plays in the public information. What issues is being emphasized in the international columns.. or also what the press is really for?
  • 6) Take a shutter count of 1k pictures of a destination / Get a local friend! – Well, that’s what I do, even my current 320gb hard disk is running out of space. My DSLR has been with me since 3 years ago, I believe it’s already more than 500k shutter count, I do have more than the 1k count of pictures after every destination. simply means, I take a lot of pictures 😉
  • 7) Get to know the Perspective of a Local – This is often easy as I attend conferences and directly knowing locals.. or other international participants, it’s really interesting when 2 or more sit down and exchange perspective.. I am a person will ask anything over a dinner setting,from politics, socio-economy. history.. and the daily life of the local. it could be endless.
  • 8) Visit the Museum – Like it or not, History used to be my most hated subject during school days, but I find it extremely crucial to be at this spot if you are visiting any country. Whether it’s good or back, grabbing a general picture on how the country has been brought up and gained independence tell a lot. You would eventually find the satisfaction after going through museums in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia and realize the whole SEA countries are really connected together in a way! And besides, what’s the point of traveling when you don’t question these fundamentals!
  • 9) Walk where’s NOT recommended in Travelling Guides – Often Travelling Guides only show what the country wants to show. Certainly true that any traveling places are generally clean and common in a certain way. As for me, I remember during my 8 weeks in China, I always take the walks to the back streets of the residential area and see what’s really happening, the families eating together outside.. or the early workouts in the public spaces of Ho Chi Minh.. these are what travelling companies don’t include in their agendas..
  • 10) COOK – Now that you have seen the local supermarkets or wet markets, and if you have the handy skills of cooking, then give it a shot to go for cooking classes and know the local dishes and common ingredients, you wouldn’t really gain much knowledge compared to others but this certainly means experiencing part of the local culture, and it’s certainly a proud thing that you could prove to others that you actually cook the local dish abroad!

That’s what I could define for the 10 things I do or collect =) I personally find it perfecting my traveling experience, how about you?