Whether traveling to a new city in your home country or a completely foreign land, there is nothing better than that raw excitement of discovery and exploration. The key differentiator between having a miserable experience and a life changing encounter starts with the approach. After visiting over 30 countries, I always tell my friends to "go with confidence". Whether you are in Rio de Janeiro and don't speak a word of Portuguese or you are daring enough to venture to a country like Yemen, go with confidence and do what you can to blend in. If you have absolutely no idea where you are, it's ok, but chose a direction and go with confidence. I would say that your level of safety increases drastically if you look like you are a natural and do whatever it is your are doing all the time. It would help to speak a bit of the local language, but if you don't, keep quite....please! If you run around looking lost, speaking loudly in English, you are asking for attention and quite possibly the wrong attention. I have been invited into homes in almost every country and can tell you that the right blend of outer confidence with a healthy dose of humility when being accepted in a new surrounding can result in one of the best memory-generating times in your life. So, in summary, go with confidence and an open mind.
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