A few months ago, a fantastic speaking opportunity came my way. I presented a keynote speech on Professional Presence at the Global Career Thought Leaders Conference. The host city was Madrid, Spain.
Naturally, my husband and I stayed an extra two weeks traveling throughout this beautiful country — one we had not visited.
Touring the various regions, we noticed that each city appeared to be “branded” with its own history and strong community. Each area had a unique sense of pride for their city, their soccer, and their food. It was infectious. The locals in each place enjoyed sharing their culture, singing in the streets and celebrating all hours of the night. People love their beer, wine, and tapas. We found ourselves caught up in the revelry, the ancient history, and the daily experiences. All we could do was smile and take it all in.
S – Smile! It’s contagious and everyone responds in kind.
M – Make things simple for others to understand you. Download Google Translator.
I – Stay IN the moment. Enjoy the food. See the sites. Appreciate another culture.
L – Leave work AT work — back home that is. It will still be there when you return.
E – Engage with the people. International friends create more perspective.
Excerpts from Do It Right!
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Travel takes us from the familiar into the unfamiliar — from the comforts of home into the not-so-comfortable ways of other cultures. Knowledge of travel etiquette has become as necessary as knowing how to read an itinerary or navigating one of the world’s largest terminals.
Always be considerate. The Golden Rule applies in the air, as well as on the ground.
1. Take the time to get a Global Entry pass before going out of the country. It will alleviate the stress of long lines when you return. Start the government process early — at least two months prior to your trip.
2. Airline etiquette violations can have serious consequences. Refrain from confrontations. Just do as you are told!
3. Check excessive luggage. Space is limited. Don’t selfishly take up overhead space with luggage that could easily be checked to go into the plane, not into the bins.
4. Watch swinging your backpack as you walk to your assigned seat. Heads can spin if it hits a seated passenger.
5. Don’t wrench yourself out of your seat by grabbing the seat in front of you. Use your arm rests instead.
6. While using your electronic device to listen to music or watch a movie, don’t crank up the sound.
7. Be considerate about seatmate conversations. There is nothing worse than being held captive by a talkative seatmate. This is not the place to discuss confidential or personal information.
8. On long flights, if you’re more comfortable removing your shoes, wear slipper socks.
9. If someone is having trouble getting his/her bag into or out of the overhead bin, offer to help — pay special attention to helping seniors.
10. An airline’s toilet is public and needs your help keeping it clean. Be quick and clean up after yourself.
“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1. Don’t talk negatively about our politicians. Leave politics alone — theirs and yours.
2. Ask questions about the local people, local history, anything about their country and community. What do people like to do outside of work? What are their favorite holidays? Where do they like to vacation? What are their interests, their passions, their family traditions?
3. Bragging is boring! No one cares about how much money you make or your title. Be a human being rather than a human doing.
4. Speak slowly and avoid slang.
5. Be patient with language differences. If you don’t understand, be honest and say, “I’m not sure I understand. Would you please repeat that?”
Download this sheet with travel tips for quick reference!