Most Important Item to Pack on an International Trip. (It’s not your passport!)

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It’s small and compact, you don’t even have to put it in your carry-on.  It’s quite simple really, the thing you can’t leave home without is your patience and kindness.   It will make any of your travels so much smoother.  The best thing is it’s free and will gain you so much more than you ever thought as you travel the world.

Before my trip to Paris, when ever I told anyone about my plans, I was met with a grimace and “get ready for rude people.”  I like to think I am a nice, open minded person, I was quite shocked that was the primary response I got.

My goal when I went was to be open minded, I wasn’t going to let the thoughts of others change my mind.  After spending a few days in London, my sister and I decided to see if we could change our Eurostar tickets to have an extra day in Paris.

When we got in line to speak with one of the staff, she was already helping someone else.  The man spoke very little English and was having trouble getting his question out.  The agent was kind and patient with him.  She also made sure to stay engaged with us as well, assuring us she would be with us as soon as possible.

We were in no rush and chose to smile and wait. When it was finally our turn and we found out the large sum of money it would take to change our tickets, we decided to just have them printed and make our way back to our hostel.

Flash forward to the day that we board our train, and my sister and I quickly realized that we were in business premier.  We both knew there was no way on this Earth we had purchased those tickets, after double and triple checking, we took our seats.

My sister pulled up her confirmation email and it was there in black and white.  Originally we were in car 10 we ended up in car two!  The lovely woman at Eurostar had upgraded our tickets.  My sister and I had never felt more special.  The journey was amazing. (Look at that LEG ROOM)

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What was even better was when we arrived in Paris, we were met with an amazing uber driver, who had so much information about Paris, and seem genuinely excited to speak with us.   Every waiter, retail worker, hostel agent, and citizen we met in Paris was polite and kind.   When my college French failed me, the waiter was patient and helpful in translating.

To be honest the only rude, angry or disrespectful people we encountered were other tourist from many different countries, including our own.  I realized then that if more people had acted as the waiter, the uber driver, the Eurostar agent, and my sister and I, those lines at tourist traps wouldn’t seem so long.  The country wouldn’t have a bad reputation, and people and places in this world would be a lot better.

What is a stereotype you found to be untrue when you were traveling? 

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