If you're a woman on the road, you'll need to learn cultural etiquette, if you haven't already.
Not all cultures think solo travel for women is normal - so those of us who travel on our own have learned to adjust.
In some societies, going solo makes women objects of pity - they're seen as women who haven't been able to find a man. In other societies, solo women travelers are considered 'fair game' - if you're traveling alone, you must be 'easy'. Understanding cultural differences can help unravel these travel conundrums.
Remember, some people only know Western women from television - the ones that think all American women are like those on Desperate Housewives! Being culturally sensitive isn't just a matter of courtesy, but also a matter of safe travel.
Whether you're heading around the world or simply visiting a new country for the first time, coping with culture shock is bound to be part of your experience.
Cultural etiquette dictates what you should or not do in a given country so please, do your research first - if you then decide to break the rules, at least you'll know what rules you're breaking.
Your guidebook should have long lists of dos and don'ts for each country but here are just a few examples of the advice you might find during your research:
Cultural etiquette may deal with serious issues, such as gender equality or stereotypes, but often centers around meals or social and work lives, whose rules may leave you perplexed.
This is just a sample, but see how easy it is go to wrong?
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