Welcome back to Ricardo’s Travel Advice, a series in which I lay out some of the insight I’ve gained from my overseas journeys. This advice comes from the perspective of an American male who’s done three solo extended overseas journeys—two to Europe and one to Japan and Korea—and might not apply to everyone, but there should be a lot here that’s broadly applicable. Today I’m going to wrap up this series with a very short but important piece on keeping the right mentality while traveling.

One of the most important parts of travel, both in preparing for your journey and its execution, is keeping a positive outlook and not letting anything keep you down. Even if you’re as thorough in your planning as I am, things are bound to go wrong and the longer your journey is the more opportunities there will be for problems to arise. Sometimes it’s a mistake that you make, sometimes it’s an unforeseen event, but whatever the case you have to roll with the punches and not get discouraged. Be an optimist. Find the silver lining to every dark cloud. Find something enjoyable to do when things aren’t working out the way you want. In your mind you have to tell yourself that nothing short of getting kidnapped by terrorists is going to keep you from having a great trip. Even if you get knocked down a hundred times you are going to get back up after every setback with your head held high. This is going to be the journey of a lifetime, period.

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Ok, that’s going to do it for my travel advice series, at least for now. I’ve created a new entry on the Suggested Reading page of this website with a link to this entire series so people can find all the posts in it more easily. Hopefully these posts are useful and if you have any feedback on any of them just leave a comment on the appropriate post or send me a message through the Contact page. Thanks for reading.

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