Thinking About Tourists While Looking Out the Window of a Cafe in Amsterdam

Maybe try to be a little less rude

Barb McMahon
Aug 27 · 2 min read

Money belts are a terrible idea. They’re unflattering and make you look frightened.

Do the locals wear them? No, they don’t. Do you wear them at home? Of course not.

To assume that all foreigners are thieves is inherently rude.

And that thing you do? Where you carry your backpack on your front with your arms crossed over it?

Paint a bullseye on your back, why don’t you?

You are so obviously expecting trouble, it makes me want to run out and mug you just so you can get it over with.

Getting lost in a new city is all part of foreign travel. And maps are so challenging to unfold and read. But you aren’t really doing yourself any favors by standing in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking traffic while you try to situate yourself.

And those guidebooks?

Should stay in your suitcase.

They make great bedtime reading back at the hotel. No one ever intended that they be read, out loud, while walking past the destinations they describe.

And reading them in a shouty voice to your companion who is trying to situate herself on an upside-down map while strangers bump into her (again — I’m so sorry about that) really doesn’t help the situation at all.

Just fold it all up and let yourself be lost in a new city for a while.

You’ll get home eventually.

As for clothing, please remember, it’s courtesy over comfort.

And if you don’t like foreign food/foreign customs/foreign people, why are you traveling?

Thanks so much for reading! If you’d like to sign up for my twice-monthly newsletter, you can do so here.

Writers On The Run

For those who love to travel, live for travel, and always have a story to tell.

Barb McMahon

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I’m a post-menopausal woman living with Inflammatory Arthritis. And a whole bunch of plants. Equal parts kindness and sarcasm.

Writers On The Run

For those who love to travel, live for travel, and always have a story to tell.

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