1) Listen to your intuition. Trust that clever inner voice: Am I talking to a nice stranger or a criminal? Have I already consumed 1 liter of sangria or more than 1 liter of sangria? Where the hell is the right airport terminal and train direction? Will this bread be a perfect substitute for my precious rice? Does this random stranger have perfect photography skills for my narcissistic touristy photo#1001?
2) Brag about your country as if you're the country's ambassador. Your country is amazing and sharing it with people who do not know anything about your country may impact their views about your nation.
3) Latino music is the grandmother of all forefathers of last song syndrome. Whether you like it or not, you will unconsciously love it. The lyrics and beat will get stuck inside your eardrums for a long long time. #despacito #subesube
4) Do not feel bad when you realize that the hottest guys on earth live in Italy and Greece (and partially in Spain✌?). Life can be unfair.
5) European door keys tend to be more complicated than your love life. Making them work requires a lot of patience, hard work, and meditation. Not even the magic words "Open Sesame" can do tricks.
6) Love your shoulders more than your clothes, fashion OOTD accessories, and unnecessary souvenirs. Getting bruises on your shoulders will never be fun especially in countries with very expensive massages.
7) But if you need to give up on things for space in your backpack, learn to let go.
8) Do not always trust the weather forecast (especially if you have just finished hanging your clothes outdoors or if you have just decided to wear sleeveless in a seemingly sunny day). Always be prepared to manually dry everything using a hair dryer.
9) Google is the answer to almost everything. Trust it for majority of your travel decisions may depend on it including a) translating indecipherable food menus, cheese varieties and washing machines, b) finding a good bar, c) enjoying a date with a handsome man who doesn’t know how to speak English d) finding the most efficient train route.
10) Learn the art of "chilling" in toilets without bidets. Always invest on wet wipes.
11) Hang out with locals and eat where locals eat.
12) Skip very romantic places if you don’t wanna feel blue. Or travel with someone if you don’t wanna feel blue.
13) Always arrive early in airports. Especially in chaotic airports like CDG.
14) The best conversations can sometimes happen when you least expect them (in ferries, trains, and buses, or during hikes).
15) Control your anger if a gypsy teen duo decided to bully you. They’re probably living a more miserable life than you.
16) Practice an imaginary language. Not because you need to talk to yourself but a secret language will be very helpful in case you'd encounter scammers. When they ask you, "Do you speak English?," you’re ready to reply with a convincing lingo.
17) Religiously apply lotion if you don’t want your hands to turn into a horror movie prop.
18) Greek and Italian time can be worse than Filipino time. Always be prepared to master the art of doing nothing.
19) Hone your sign language (+ charades) skill. It will be useful when you get lost and you need to ask for help from non-English-speaking locals... or when you just wanna chat with friendly non-English-speaking locals. Or if you want to avoid frowns from English-speaking Frenchies✌?
20) Save beer/tapas/aperitivo/sangria/museum money by getting water from the tap until your water bottle doesn't look like a water bottle anymore.
21) Be crazy and take crazy photos.
22) Do not get too attached with your vacation because sooner than sooner, you'll live a monotonous life again ?
Yes, I'm so glad to be home in one piece (with my backpack still A-OK)!!!
Thank you to everyone who made my solo travel an unforgettable crazy adventure!
See you soon, Mongolia or NZ? :-)
Follow me @fartherfurther