Cultural Bias and Common Sense
Many experienced travelers will tell you that travel is the most experiential form of learning. It often requires a different set of skills than you would use in your day-to-day life. And yet, many of our daily skills are also transferable ones.
The generic travel skills are the same coping skills we use on a daily basis: critical thinking; communication skills (verbal and non-verbal); orientation skills; predicting skills; reading for meaning skills; being open-minded, tolerant, perceptive; and simply having a little bit of courage to think and step "outside the box."
We all have a cultural bias; we all are products of our backgrounds. We all "come from somewhere." And this can interfere with our travel if we are not careful. There is nothing wrong with having a bias. It is a normal human behavioral phenomenon; however it is useful to be able to distinguish between a positive and a negative bias. Both play a role in travel and both need to be understood as affecting our general travel skills. When bias becomes an "issue" is when it becomes a negative bias.
"Travel broadens the mind." would generally be considered a positive bias. "Why don't the people in this country speak English like the rest of us?" is of course a negative bias. There are also unintended negative biases as well (although meant well). "Oh look at those colorful peasant farmers. How quaint!"
Perhaps the most important travel skill is the ability to recognize that our realities are not the only ones.
Let's Talk ... Travel
Travel Tips for the Independent Traveler
Tips Magazine (Western U.S.)
Versions of Print Travel Publications
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Here are some specific websites for women travelers.
Miscellaneous Sites Worth A Visit
CIA Fact Book
Inimitable Johnny Jet
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