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Have you ever been caught in the situation where you are visiting a big city and you feel like an alien? Everybody is rushing around, acting all busy, while you are just sitting there confused. Sometimes you might get that paranoid feeling that everybody is looking at you. You can almost hear them whisper the word “outsider.”  You don’t know how to act, how to dress and most importantly you feel that you are standing out from the crowd. Though this might not necessarily be a bad thing, it does make you feel weird and vulnerable. What’s more, it gives out the fact that you are a tourist, thus makes you an easier target for common thieves. Here are some tips to make you avoid this situation:

Be confident

Stand up straight, relax your face muscles, breath in, and enjoy what you are seeing. Don’t think about how you are going to get lost. If you are not sure whether you are taking the right path, do not stop in the middle of the street with a shocked expression! Just go and sit at the next bench or cafe you see and take a look at your map, phone, GPS or whatever you are using to orientate yourself. Make sure where you are and how to get to your next destination. Have a coffee maybe and continue once you are ready. Don’t worry and even if you do, don’t let it show. Don’t think about how everybody is going to judge you or laugh at you if you get lost. They most probably won’t. Maybe they won’t even notice you. The more you think in a negative way, the less confident you will look and the less enjoyable will your journey be.

There is no rush

Even though in the big city most people are always hurrying to get to work, home, etc. rushing around yourself, will not make you look like you’re one of them.  This will only make you look furthermore frustrated. What is even worse is that it will deprive you of the satisfaction of enjoying your surroundings. There is no worse tourism than this. It is important to see the main attractions and all, but bear in mind that there are a lot of interesting and beautiful places besides from them. Even though it sounds super cliché “It is the journey that is important, not the destination” and this couldn’t be more true. What’s more, the hurry and frustration wipes away all that is beautiful and valuable. If you don’t stop for a minute to appreciate everything around you, what’s the point of taking your time and spending your money on those tickets and hotel rooms?

Get to know your routs

It is important to spend enough time preparing your routs. We live in an era of Google Maps, we can now practically walk the streets before we have even been there. This is why you don’t have an excuse for getting lost. Get to know all the important and most visited places, then look for the unpopular ones. Make sure that you have knowledge of all the interesting places and pick out those that you will enjoy the most! Write down a plan and see to it that you know how to get there. Not only will this help you look confident the next day, but it will also guarantee that you don’t get lost and that you visit all the places you find important to you.

Read up

Get aware of the local customs, how people dress, what gestures they use and so on. It is important to know if there are behaviors that are unacceptable at the given country. For example, in Italy it is inappropriate to give someone the “rock-on” sign with your fingers. The locals will take this as an insult. For them this sign means that their significant others are unfaithful to them. This is why you need to know about such exceptions and be careful not to insult act inappropriate in public.

Enjoy local life

Get a beer, a lemonade or whatever you notice the locals are consuming and find some great park or cafe. Just sit back and relax. Observe the people, observe the nature, observe the architecture. There is nothing that can give you the full experience of a city like relaxing with the natives.