Tag Archives: Tips

Word to the Wise on Cruising

Arrr!  While digging through some old photos, I found this picture of me from a cruise I took with my parents after I graduated from college. I know I’m late for International Talk Like a Pirate Day but the picture did get me thinking about cruising.

Cruising is my parents’ preferred method of travel. They love not worrying about transportation or packing and unpacking as they move from one country to another. They have also been extremely generous to take my brother and I along during our younger years. We have certainly had some fabulous family vacations while sailing the high seas. However, with all vacations come lessons learned. If you’re planning on cruising this winter, here are my words to the wise:

  1. If your 21-year-old brother/son goes missing, assume he has found some girls to hang out with and has not fallen overboard.
  2. Be nice to your cabin steward. He will give you a lot more chocolates on your pillow.
  3. Unless you are with a big group, request your assigned dining table to be with other passengers. It’s a good opportunity to practice talking to strangers in a fairly comfortable environment.
  4. Go to the shows. They are actually pretty good.
  5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It will help you keep that weight off from the buffet.
  6. If going with a group, be sure not to do everything together. It’s great for everyone to go do their own excursions while at port and then get back together at dinner to share stories.
  7. Balance eating on board and eating at port. While the food on board is included and usually delicious, you don’t want to miss out on the cultural cuisine of each country.
  8. Margaritas and sea sickness don’t mix.
  9. If you are on a cruise while in your early 20s, expect that most people on board in your age bracket are either on their honeymoon, in an on-board wedding, or are part of the crew. (Excluding spring break week.)
  10. Buy one of those photographs they take of you at dinner with the pirates. Eight years later, you’ll be glad you did.

 

How to be Global from Home

With my 75th post yesterday, I went back and read through my blog. As I did, some things stuck out. I recognized some patterns and themes in how I’ve been global from home. These certainly aren’t all the ways to bring your experiences from abroad back with you, but for me, these have been a good way to start.

1. Reflect on my abroad experiences

When I started this blog, I realized that there were lots of experiences from abroad that I had not really thought about again. Through postcards to Grandma, reminiscing with friends, and drawing comparisons with my every day life, my reflections from my abroad experiences has been one of the best ways I’ve been global from home.

2. Interact with people who love culture/travel as much as I do

Since I can’t live abroad right now, I like to live vicariously through others. The Abroad Blog of the Week has been my best way of interacting with others who are abroad living out what I can only imagine right now.

3. Help others experience culture or adjust to mine

For me, this mostly plays out by being a study abroad advisor. I love helping others explore where they want to go and really prepare for their time abroad.  I’ve also realized that it’s important to help those who are new to my culture. Volunteering with the local refugee community or with organizations like Cup of Local Sugar are a few ways to pay it forward.

4. Eat and cook with culture in mind

My first Friday Lunch was a shameless ploy to get students to come visit me during the summer, but it turned out to be a great way for me to explore foods of other cultures (and try to make them without a kitchen). Hubby and I have also increased our ethnic dining and I promise to cook more internationally once we are settled in OKC.

5. Practice my language skills

My Italian is definitely an area of being global from home that I need to work on, but I have a plan!

6. Global reads and foreign films

With the start of my regional reading list and some great Netflix finds, I feel like I’m learning so much more about countries that I may never have a chance to explore myself.

7. Creatively incorporate travel and culture into my physical surroundings

Whether it be maps, pictures, traditions, or crafts, I’m trying to incorporate visual reminders of the cultures and experiences that I so love.

On May 16th when I posted for the first time, I had an itch I was trying to satisfy. Having not left the country in over 3 years, I felt frustrated that I was not doing something that I really enjoy. This blog has certainly soothed that itch; it has made me intentional about looking at the world 30 miles from my door and seeing all the culture available to me. I’m excited to see where it takes me next.