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An excerpt from 'Travel A-Z rather than just A-B' by Alison Laycock

Here is an excerpt from my latest book (Book 8) published on Amazon Kindle as an e-book at the end of August.

This book has come from blogs I wrote on one of my travel blogs: and I also had guest posts which are amazing and very diverse. They are not in the book because I believed the best thing to do was to only have my work and they can always use their own work in another way rather than it being limited by this book.

The subtitle is: ‘A-Z of travel stories, tips, places and more’ and it is reasonably priced at £4.99. I am particularly happy with this book and proud of its contents as it includes a variety of writing including some memories from my years lived in Nepal and Cameroon. Nepal and Cameroon I am sure will appear in future books at some point and in some way so look out for those.

The difficulty for this post has been which post to share so I decided to just go from the start, what better place is there to begin from and that is of course A.

Let’s start with A for ASK!

The importance of asking is a key life lesson not just one for travelling so you may also wish to consider these in terms of your life and how you can adapt them. If in doubt ‘ASK’.

1. Ask all sorts of questions to all sorts of people: When I am travelling or living in a different country, questions have huge value. They serve as conversation openers with locals and fellow travellers and can lead to the best conversations or experiences. Asking a variety of people can also bring you a better understanding of their life and culture rather than just accepting one person’s views.

2. Ask your tour guide but also ask other locals: If you are travelling with a tour guide, be aware that they will have a set piece to present to tourists and you may not always learn the whole truth, especially if there are safety issues in the country. They will want to make sure that tourists keep coming so will naturally and understandably present the best of their country which is their job. Often locals will be more open as they aren’t risking their jobs by telling you the truth about political or human rights issues. I’ve found these to be the best ways of getting to know more about the country and its culture and I’m always pleased to engage with a level of trust, honesty, and sincerity.

3. Ask and listen with the right tone: It’s important to include listen here as what’s the point of asking a question and then not listening to the answer? Yes, you may need to be patient to understand but there is nothing worse than asking a question and then talking over the answer given or questioning its truth because you in your own country heard something different or believe it to be something else. If you’re asking, you’re wanting to listen and learn not talk when you only hear yourself. The tone is important so the person giving their time to answer knows that you are not being critical or rude in asking that question. Remember they may be sensitive to certain topics due to other tourists they have dealt with previously.

4. Ask about dress code: You may have read information in a travel guide or think you know the answer but there is something respectful about asking about dress code and making sure you understand what it means and why it is in place. I always carry a shawl with me when travelling in case I need to cover my head, shoulders or put it around my waist. Even if the dress code doesn’t match your beliefs, when you are in a different country you are there to respect their culture and traditions otherwise why travel.

5. Ask to take part: If there is a festival, wedding or religious event taking place then ask to take part. You may naturally be invited if you are living in that area, however people often don’t know whether you would want to take part or not and don’t wish to cause offence to you through asking. It is therefore your responsibility to show that you are interested in attending and being part of such cultural events, so ask but also make sure you ask what you can take or give as a present.

Some letters are represented more than once so it is more than just one run of A-Z which was interesting for me to do as there were so many posts I wanted to include in this book.

If you are interested in purchasing the book from Amazon Kindle then please follow this link.

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