International travel, especially to some third world countries, can be a very rewarding experience, but there are also many things to look out for that, left unchecked, have the potential to ruin your entire trip or, worse, put you in danger. Some research beforehand is essential in order to ensure and safe, fun, and memorable vacation. My recent trip to see my friends in New Delhi was a very rewarding experience overall, but I did experience three major difficulties, which are outlined below:
As many traveling disaster stories start, mine begins with me sitting in an uncomfortable chair, a scone in one hand, a coffee in the other, and flight information shared in various accents buzzing around my head. “This flight has been delayed three hours due to weather,” one airport employee said over the loudspeaker. Almost as though it were rehearsed, the people surrounding me sighed, hissed, and took out their cellphones, eager to tell loved ones that they were now stuck in the airport for even longer. I leaned back in my chair, pumped the volume on my iPod, and hoped that I would board the plane to New Delhi before my friends David and Ajay, who would be picking me up in India, were able to begin worrying. I suggest that before arriving at the airport in which you will be departing from, you check several times for any delays or cancellations. Keep up to date on the weather in the place you are leaving from and the place you are arriving to, so you will not be surprised by these flight changes.
Getting Sick Eating
Although this does not sound like a disaster so far, I assure you that it became one when I arrived in New Delhi and became horribly ill within 12 hours of landing. My friend Ajay, so excited to see me, insisted on taking me to his favorite restaurant and ordering me his favorite dish: momos. These small, steamed dumplings, which can come with or without filling, are delicious when eaten and monstrous once digested. I smiled and thanked my friends for the meal, and spent the next day hunched over the toilet. When traveling, it is very important to remember to go easy on your stomach, especially while you are adjusting to the new area. Don’t eat something like dumplings or meat within the first few days; stick to bread, rice, and other simple foods. Drinking water in unfamiliar places is another way to get very sick, so, unless have you have been assured that the water is safe to drink and does not make foreigners ill, stick to drinking bottled water.
Because I was so sick, I had been forced to cancel plans to visit my other friend in Kolkata. Instead, I followed my David through the streets of New Delhi while David ran various errands. After we returned to her home, I reached into my pocket to discover that my wallet was missing. I looked at David, panicked, and he told me that I had probably been pick-pocketed. Although pick-pocketing is easy to avoid, you need to be aware that it happens. Make sure to keep your wallet in your front pocket and not your back pocket; people are less likely to reach for it there. Also, although it is important to always have money while traveling, do not carry too much when just doing a day trip.