by Toffler



Lessons Learned

October 6, 2006, by TofflerN, category Learning through Foreign Cultures, Tourism, Traveling

Last night I left Singapore and flew to Hong Kong. I had a great trip to Singapore and Hong Kong is going well so far. However, in my trip to Singapore I learned a couple of important lessons.

Like most travelers, and particularly most backpackers, I tried to lighten my load and carry as little weight as possible. So when I was packing for Singapore and Hong Kong, I thought to myself, those are both modern clean countries and the food will be safe and healthy, so I don’t need to bring prescription pills for stomachaches or other similar afflictions. This assumption seems to make sense coming from Mainland China. However, for a day and half I was the most sick to my stomach I have ever been while traveling and have continued to be somewhat ill since then. You can bet I definitely wished I had brought those pills with me. So my first lesson is, it’s better to carry around a few extra items than to sacrifice a day of the trip to illness and to feel extremely sick. And, I guess also I shouldn’t make assumptions about quality of food and water because it is possible to get sick anywhere, anytime. So from now on I shall carry my extra medicine to ward off illnesses and other ailments.

My second lesson is about the importance of preserving and carrying along 2 very important documents associated with electronics, namely a purchase receipt and a warranty card. Panasonic, for example, has a 1-year global warranty where they’ll repair your equipment for free, whether it’s your fault or due to product malfunction, provided you can show them those documents. If all electronics companies have as valuable of repair-warranty policies as Panasonic, we may all start carrying those documents for our cameras, MP3 players, and other electronics with us while traveling. I learned my lesson to always keep the receipt and warranty card. Then I can scan them and at least have them easily accessible in electronic form, if not, in hard copy as well. And so maybe in the future I will save myself $200!

Unfortunately, these were painful (literally, in one case) lessons to learn, but if you don’t learn while traveling, what benefit is there? It’s like the commercial, ‘Live and Learn.’ In this case, I just hope you can take my advice and benefit from it since I have already learned the hard way.

So, what do you think ?