If you're a young traveller, then you must read this postFebruary 13, 2017

You might stumble upon several articles, where you've been warned about travel scams. The authors would address young travellers like you. Gratitude could be the first thing to come to mind, as any information would be helpful during your journey. Besides, no one liked the feeling of being had. Let's look at the bigger picture, though.

You want to have a good time, make (good) memories, and meet (good) people. Admit it or not, having a slice of a culture different than yours won't be your first priority. Then again, you don't want to be THE one to do the walk of shame (after taking someone else's motorcycle). If you're doing this during your gap year, then you earn it. There's nothing to be ashamed of. You may not be mindful of your manners at times, as the long journey can wear you off. It's understandable, but it's not an excuse to do it a bit too often. (The full-moon party may be another thing. It's your call.) Here are other friendly reminders:

Use your common sense. If your gut feeling tells you that you're about to be ripped off, then walk away. It will be better not to share your experience on social media. It's not being selfish on your part, as this one can be an eye opener. You'll realise that you're the lucky one (unless you're backpacking in Europe). It will dawn on you that you never truly appreciate what you have, what your parents have done for you. What's the point of letting one incident spoil what could be an adventure?

Sometimes, it will be best not to be too generous at all. Poverty may distress you, and abject poverty may give you a culture shock. You don't need to know all the details about your surrounding, but it will be sensible to keep a distance. You should be respectful about the customs. (Otherwise, the locals will see you as disrespecting them.) It might turn out to be the best option in such situations.

Stop complaining. Going to a new place is an adventure, flight delays included. The slow river cruise. Sharing a room with backpackers who snore loudly. Let's not forget the possibility of cramping in a bus during a long road trip. You might look at it fondly someday.

Don't forget to bring a book. Coursework may have pressured you, such that you don't get to understand the books you read during the term. It doesn't mean that you must bring along the same titles during your holiday. It must be an author you admire most or a book that you're dying to read. You must do it at your own pace, even enjoy it as much as possible.

Remember the ones you left behind. If you happen to be a solo traveller, then make sure to get in touch with your family whenever there's WiFi (or a desktop computer in the reception area). If you're travelling with your mates, then a call (or email) will do. There's a good chance of making new friends, and you must look forward to it. There's a possibility of meeting them in another place (in another time).

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