Around this time of year, many people are traveling to see family or planning vacations. Which is fine, I am not jealous. (Seriously). For the seasoned traveler, getting thru the airport is either A. A breeze or B. Knows to expect hordes of people.

For the novice, please arrive early to the airport and get ready to be felt up.

Then there is me who hasn’t travelled anywhere within a 100 mile radius (big plans for 2013!!!)

If you plan to travel abroad, keep in mind that some customs differ than here in the West. But what’s a real kicker is that some gestures are offensive as well.

Thumbs up.

In Iran it means no, in Russia, Italy, Greece and West Africa and parts of the Middle East, a thumbs up means “Up Yours”, so the equivalent of the middle finger here in the West.

When in Japan, if someone gives you their business card, handle it with care and be sure to look at the card. Receive the card with both hands. Also putting it in your pocket would cause great offense.

In Arab and African nations, making a compliment like, “I love your couch” can make your host feel awkwardly obliged to give you the item

When drinking in Japan, its impolite to fill your own glass while eating.   You should fill the glass of the person beside you while they fill yours. If you don’t want any more drink, leave your glass full.

In Muslim countries and India, it’s rude to use your left hand to eat. The left hand is reserved for bathroom duty. (Yup)

Are you going to a dinner party in Argentina? Make sure to be about an hour late, as it’s a sign of greed to be punctual.

Slurping your soup is considered impolite in Western Cultures, but in Japan its good manners and shows you’re enjoying your food.

Simply smiling can insult someone in Korea. Smiling at a stranger is an indication that you think they’re stupid.

The “Okay Sign” is very rude in Brazil and Turkey.  It signifies a similar shaped part of the human anatomy, and in some cases that they are homosexual. In some Middle Eastern countries the okay sign signifies the evil eye.

Don’t beckon someone with your finger in the Philippines. It’s considered for dogs and is punishable by arrest.


In some countries, it is not uncommon to see people holding hands. In India and in Muslin and African lands, it is not uncommon to see two men or woman holding hands or arm in arm.

So please don’t insult anybody, its rude.

If you do find yourself traveling here is a list of Apps that might make traveling a little easier.

While I might be a tad bit jealous of your travels, I hope you have fun and be safe,


Until next time.


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