…because some thoughts are worth remembering
We usually do our homework before going on trips. If it’s a foreign country, we might get a phrase book, a guidebook, look through webpages, and ping friends who’ve visited there or who live there. We optimize our guidebooks for logistic details (e.g., Let’s Go and Rick Steves rank high on noting if a train station has a locker), food recommendations (website reviews are good for updated information, I like recommendations in Frommer, Rough Guide and Lonely Planet). But we end up just taking one, of course.
Before our first trip to Europe, my in-laws recommended we read The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I started reading it and packed it in my carry on for our long flight. Why not learn from his own experiences traveling in Europe, someone wise enough to pen, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”