10 assumptions you can make and a few that you shouldn’t about traveling 

“World, here I come,” you think as you get ready for your trip.

You’ve done your preparations, you’ve got your visa (if you’re South African make sure you apply advance).  Be sure to check if you need a visa in advance or will pick it up at the airport or on arrival or perhaps you don’t need one at all.




But all that said and done, I’d like to encourage you to make these few assumptions as you prepare for your trip:

  1. You might not understand the culture
  2. You will learn a little bit more about yourself. For example (and you’re not allowed to laugh at me, actually you can….I like watching Bollywood movies on international flights….who knew)
  3. You will get searched as you go through security and if it’s an international flight, you will most likely have to take off your shoes, belt, jacket and scarf
  4. Your toiletries on an international flight need to be less than 100ml per bottle and not more than one litre in total.
  5. Check your hand luggage bag before you fly so that you can remove any nail clippers, scissors, leatherman or pocketknives. I once forgot to do that, and had a swiss army knife my handbag. I was rather attached to it and had to empty my bag and then discard it. Fortunately, my husband was still in the airport and he came back to security and picked it up for me.
  6. On international flights, take a few snacks in your hand luggage. I like to do that as I often get hungry – but then again, maybe that’s me.
  7. The person in front of you will push their seat back into the recline position and move around (a lot). Knowing that this might happen will help you not get irritated when it does occur.
  8. You will be asked for your ID as you go through boarding.

Now, here are a few assumptions you shouldn’t make:

  1. The plane will always depart and arrive on time
  2. Airports are not expensive
  3. You will have open seats next to you.
  4. BO will not bother you (Body odour)
  5. You understand time differences, connecting schedules and how quick the queues through passport control will be.  They sometimes take longer and are more confusing than you expect.
  6. Don’t assume that you have at least two blank pages in your passport and that it’s still valid for 6 months after you return to your passport country.  Check this before you book your flights!
My daughter waiting for our connecting flight in Dubai at 1am in the morning. Airports generally never sleep.

But, all that considered, traveling is wonderful. I love it. It thrills me and I love meeting people from all over the world. Have you noticed how different hot and cold cultures function? Have you watched people in airports and noticed the nervous ones, the ones dressed up to the nines, the families and businessmen/women. The people around the world are as diverse as there are fingerprints.

So, as you prepare to travel, consider these assumptions and let it go. Embrace the moment and forget about what you can control and what you can’t. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. But in this regard…seize the seat and savour the thrill of adventure.

Neil and I at yet another airport on our way to Tanzania (very tired and hungry)

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