Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Become a Better Traveler

Nothing says "Ask me a question!" like a smile

Smiling at another person can be a sign of approval, affection or just simple friendliness. It is a gift that asks only to be accepted. A smile is not to be confused with the leer from the would-be-Cassanova or the smirk from the high-and-mighty among the rest of us mere mortals. Unlike those, a smile usually merits simply a smile or a nod back: Yes, I saw it too. Yes, I see you.
For a traveler, a smile is a universal currency. Although how it's received can vary widely according to location, in most social settings, a smile is your first hello.

Find the unexpected, and you'll always have a reason to smile. 

Lost? Unsure?

Washington, D. C. is a tourist mecca. Being a local here means either breezing past visitors standing in front of the metro with a confused look on their faces or stopping to share it's color-coded ease. The people I usually stop to help are the ones who stop gazing long enough to look around, smile and cast a friendly eye. Likewise, when I travel, I try to smile at people I meet much more often than I would at home. Nothing could be worse for the disoriented traveler than to be in an unknown city, lost and looking like you'd rather not talk.
The world is full of people and places, smile and you're more likely to meet some and see the other. If you're nervous about meeting strangers, just remember they are just friend you haven't met.

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