Things to Leave at Home

Don’t Take Valuables

My list of things to leave at home starts with your valuables, those economic indicators that mark you as a member of your class. They may be comforting to have in some circumstances, but when traveling they are almost always a hazard. It’s true (and unfortunate) that people tend to treat you better if they think you have money. But unless you’re attending a high-end fashion function, it simplifies life to leave valuables at home. You don’t need the kind of attention it attracts (thieves, hangers-on, etc.)

Limit Your Cosmetics

If you’re a woman staying in lovely hotels at night, then make-up probably matters. But if you’re tramping around in hot weather during the day, your make up will drip off in about half an hour, so why bother? No one really cares how your face is sculpted but you. Other people only care whether you’re good company.

Wear Simple Clothing

Most people look first at your eyes and your mouth to get their cues. Are you safe to be around? Are you happy? Generally, people only notice your clothing if it’s off-putting. Clean and neat grooming is really all other people care about. Remember, if your feet hurt, it’s hard to smile. Make comfort, not fashion, your go-to for all clothing. Same with your hair. Figure out something simple.

I’m not advocating you look like a slob when you travel. Good grooming is also a matter of self-respect. But leave your structured clothing that hides figure flaws at home. On the road, it truly doesn’t matter anymore.

Drop Your Prejudices

Most importantly, leave your prejudices at home. ALL of them. Nobody will admire you for them and you won’t have nearly as much fun if you’re carrying them around with you. Be open to new people and new experiences.

Especially avoid getting bogged down in comparisons between the new places you visit and how it is back home. Nobody at all wants to hear, “Well, look at that! Back home we’d never consider such a thing!” Well, you’re not back home. How somebody else handles life’s exigencies can bring you fascinating insights into the possible range of values and character if you’re open to them.

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