1. Everything will go wrong. That’s the most exciting and fun part. It’ll also be your best story.
2. You won’t stay in touch with the interesting people you meet. Appreciate their quirks and conversations and celebrate the moments with them.
3. Trust your gut. Always.
4. When opportunity knocks, answer.
5. Make friends with the locals. They have big hearts and the shortest moments with them are worth your plane tickets.
6. Spanish feels good on my tongue. So does ceviche.
7. Talking to strangers makes me feel alive. So does dancing with them.
8. Keep one hand on your backpack at all times and one outstretched to meet people.
9. Try new foods.
10. One of the biggest skills you can have in life is to be comfortable living with uncertainty. Travel will teach you this. I love being turned inside out by the discomfort and challenge of travel.
11. Don’t feel sorry for weird people. You do not have to spend time with them or give them money or invite them to join you. Don’t miss an opportunity to hang with smart or interesting people.
12. Beware of spicy sesame oil.
13. Pay attention. It sucks to get lost when you don’t speak the language.
14. Sometimes getting in trouble is worth it if it keeps you safe.
15. Buy a car that you can sleep in the back of.
16. Change your plans; when you find someplace good, stay longer.
17. I like shabby churches better than sprawling castles.
18. Home means more when you walk away from it for a while.
19. Your souvenirs will sit in a Rubbermaid. Buy experiences instead.
20. Be patient and inquisitive about other cultures. Take that home. Share with others.