Ten Lessons for Gay/Lesbian Travelers

Author: , December 27th, 2010

I’ve been on the road for six months already, which seems like an awfully long time to be living out of a backpack but just barely enough time to see a chunk of the world. This milestone happens to coincide with the end of the year, which is already a time of reflection.

Now it’s even more of an opportunity to think about home, family and my place in the world. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Open up. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something. I used to have a problem asking for help; now I have to ask 27 different strangers how to get to the bus station, how much it should cost, which stop I should take. It’s OK to be vulnerable and trust people.

2. Sharing is fun. Remember show-and-tell time in kindergarten? Traveling is like that, but on an extremely large scale. I’ve introduced South Africans to Mexican food, shared photos of my family with villagers in Uganda and taught Rwandans how to play bingo. In exchange, I’ve picked up a few new phrases in different languages, sampled local foods and learned how to wield a machete in a rice field.

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