Locals Talk About You Travel Tip

You are known by the friends you make in life. I am bewildered when my fellow tourist and travelers forget this while traveling abroad. In seconds, because of the friends you make, the locals know whether you are smart or stupid. You will be weighed and measured, and then in the worst-case scenario, they have decided, we can rob this person, let us do it tonight.

Three men in Cite Soleil, Haiti, I shook hands with one of them, which one and why?

Mirebalais, Haiti --- Tuesday, January 5, 2010
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com
Travel Gear

What are the people saying about you?
What is the gossip, I know they are talking I am positive. You are a stranger, you are a foreigner, they are curious, it is natural they would talk.

What story is told by walking around a village with a local?

1. I need help.
2. I need a translator.
3. I am lost.
4. I want help.
5. I want to talk with the locals.
6. I know how to choose friends.
7. Why I am in the village.
8. I have friends in the village.
9. I am following a person; I am not leading a person.
10. I cannot judge people, or I can judge people.
11. Whether I am smart or dumb.
12. I just arrived.
13. I have been in the village a long time and have friends.
14. I am alone.
15. I am married or single.
…. Every move I make, tells the story of me…

The opinion the people of the village have of your new friend is now transferred to you.

A traveler needs a strategy when walking and talking with locals. I choose friends carefully, I know that one wrong decision, and my wonderful trip in Haiti could turn into a disaster. When I get off the bus, I know I will make instant people decisions, which taxi driver is good, who can I trust, who is dangerous. I make incredibly strict and harsh judgments, then I live or die by them judgments, there is no second chance.

Many a traveler thinks he or she is an expert traveler. Yes, I suppose an expert travel knows a lot about travel gear, but in my opinion, an expert traveler knows a lot about people.

Yesterday, a rather tall and menacing person started following me down the road. I stepped to the side, allow him to pass, I then turned and started follow him, up close and personal.

I am trying to instruct you in situational awareness, posturing and the ability to make good snap judgments about people. I hope you do not need to be robbed, raped, or murdered to learn this is the priority, not your gear.

Welcome to Haiti.

Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com in Haiti, in my 10-dollar room.

In the photo above, I first shook hand with the man on the right, introduced myself. However, I then shook hands with the man in the middle, then lastly the man on the left.

Locals Talk About You Travel Tip


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This is an excellent entry and is right on. The first objective of travel may be to travel another day, to travel another day you need to be safe today. Being a traveler -- a stranger -- in a place means that you need to make quick judgments on people without hesitation. To do this you need to rely on signs and signals. You do a great job of explaining this here by showing and not telling.

Thank you.

Walk Slow,


I would talk to the owner of the box of wares. because, he is thinking outside the box.
He or she has the products orginized with a varity of products and some produce in a case which can be easily closed/ secured for travel. I am thinking it is the young man in the middle?
Why, because he would have to be young and strong to carry the case, young to have new ideas and the drive of ambitions. But that is just a shot in the dark it could be the old guy or I could be totally wrong.

Sometimes, I look at some of your photos and wonder do you see what I see and are not telling your readers or maybe your not seeing it. When I look at your photos I look at the subject and the background which, might give you more information.

Some exapmles, in the photos of the man who wanted payment for the lady who washed your clothes you had a photo of how she hung your clothes up to dry. It showed she knew
the proper way to hang clothes.

In the photo of the young man who cut in front of you in the Phillipines what stuck me was the size of his calfs. Looking at his light skin face I would have thought he was middle class.
but, the size of his legs would indicate he was a pedicar driver, Which I read is on the bottom of the social pecking order.

This is why I think digital cameras are the greatest invention - it allows you to record the mundane and boring which in fact it is not.

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