Ten Things You Should Know About Traveling To Third World Countries

Ten Things You Should Know About Traveling To Third World Countries.

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

1.Hakuna Matata is a real thing. Planes leave when they leave. Trains and buses arrive when they arrive. Shops and restaurants open when they open. Things are as they are. (Thailand)


2. Rules can usually be broken with a little cash. Sad but true.

3.Traffic laws don’t have to be followed. You should wear a bike helmet and seatbelt but no one checks. Ten people should not be in your car, on your bike, or riding on the roof but they do.  You shouldn’t drink in the street or drive in the wrong lane but you can. Cars don’t always stop for red lights especially when the traffic light is new. Crossing a street can be life threatening. Once you decide to make your move, keep going. (Myanmar)


4.The food while delicious can also be frightening – especially if you aren’t used to eating insects, guinea pigs, rodents or every part of an animal. (Mexico)


5.The word toilet in a third world country is a whole other experience. Always carry paper and hand sanitizer.  If you are a girl, strengthen those leg muscles and learn to stand. Many times you will wish that you also carried a toilet. (Panama)


6. You will have interesting animal adventures. There are many stray animals in these countries that belong to everybody. I don’t like taking a walk followed by a pack of wild, overly friendly, hungry dogs. It happens a lot in villages. I turn back. I have a fear of being kicked by walking close to a cow on the side of a road (and that could easily happen) or spit at by goats,camels or llamas. Kangaroos are cute but when they jump in front of your car and you slam on the brakes – not so cute. (Australia)

022 - Australia - Kangaroo

7.Buying handicrafts in a third world market is fun if you know what you are doing. The phrase just looking does not translate into foreign languages well. If you show the slightest bit of interest, you will probably own whatever it is you are looking at, or be cursed at in a different language if you don’t buy it. (Turkey)


8.Not every village has a garbage truck that comes to your house and picks up garbage every week.

9. All countries have their own customs. This is a hard concept for American to understand. How many times have I pointed with the wrong finger, ate with the wrong hand, put my shoes on a tatami mat, touched someone’s head, misunderstood personal space, kissed hello only once or not at all? I am sure that I insult the honor of someone’s family when I am traveling at least once a day. (Japan)


10. You are rich.  Your plane ticket costs more than some people earn. (Argentina)


If you are reading this on a computer or mobile device, compared to most of the world, you have a great life.


Fly safe,


8 thoughts on “Ten Things You Should Know About Traveling To Third World Countries

  1. This is a very well thought out list ~ with the most important one being “Hakuna Matata is a real thing” ~ yes indeed it is 🙂

  2. You are right, it’s really an awesome experience but at the same time, it can be quite surprising. It’s so much different from what we are used to 🙂

  3. my daughter is getting married next april in south africa so we are all going somewhere first. It is very far for us. it it will be beginning of april. I have never been to Amsterdam so i am thinking of doing that. I want to focus on Iceland and spend more time there and not be focused on the wedding, though it is very tempting for me as well. I wanted them to get excited about Iceland so I told them about you. 🙂

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