Travelling is great, it offers you the opportunity to see something else, explore a different country than yours, be open to another culture and overall try new things. Food, people, landscapes, habits, animals, nature, clothes…everything can be completely different from what you have experienced before. Landing in a new country is like landing on a new planet where some changes can affect you for the rest of your life, you even might want to stay there forever because you feel that you fit better in this new land than your home country. Who knows!?
However, for the majority of us, this is just a stopover in our daily life, break the habits for 1 week or 2 and escape the reality thanks to a change of scene. Leave the routine to come back fresher, relaxed and happy. I think we all need that from time to time and I’m definitely always up for a trip abroad. However, there are always few rules to keep in mind when travelling to a foreign land: get a medical insurance, check that you have all your ID and important documents with you, make sure you have enough money to survive over there (plus put some cash in your pocket in the local currency), buy a guide, book an hotel or a backpack, bring a dictionary and learn few basics in the local language if you can.
Last one is very important because if you want to be able to understand and be understood, it’s always handy to know few expressions in the language your hosts are speaking. What happens if you don’t? Well, let me tell you the story about a Spanish couple who was in holidays in France…
Not a long time ago, Pablo and Cristina were spending few days in the Loire Valley to visit some amazing castles, taste many good wines and eat few regional meals. Everything was going great, they were enjoying their stay in France and had even met some really nice locals, perfect! Well, maybe I spoke too quickly because while they were wandering around the castle of Chenonceaux, they realised that they had lost their passport and wallet…Panicked, they rushed into the closest Police station to declare the loss or maybe the theft! Unfortunately, Pablo and Cristina didn’t speak a word of French and the Policemen didn’t speak Spanish either, so it was impossible to communicate at this point. But fortunately, my Grandma was there (she was declaring a robbery at her house) and because she is half French / half Spanish, she was able to translate Spanish into French, and vice-versa. Pablo and Cristina were saved, the Policemen were able to start the search and my Grandma was the hero of the day!
The moral of the story is that if you don’t speak the local language, you can find yourself in a bad situation where you bitterly regret not to have translated the basics before taking the plane or bring an interpreter with you.
Have a good trip and don’t forget to call us if you need!