There's a lot of things people will tell you that you absolutely MUST do on your travels... you'll hear a combination of "go here", "visit this", "that place was amazing", "stay at this hostel", "do this (insert crazy activity here)" all the time in the build up to your trip, and that's all great and good, but what about all the things NOT to do while you're off exploring the world? There are a lot of them.
1. Don't stay at home.
2. Don't bring more than you can carry.
3. Don't get eaten by a bear.
4. Don't let others dictate where you go / what you do.
5. Don't listen to people who say a gap year is a waste of time.
6. Don't ever miss out on street food... you'll discover things like the magical weird pancake I found in Bangkok and named the 'Dokyo'.
7. Don't spend all your money on souvenirs at the start of your travels. You'll become better at bartering and you won't have to carry around these things you don't need for the next few months.
8. Don't miss out on that one thing you really want to do just because of the cost.
9. Don't get stressed when travel plans go awry, it will all work out in the end.
10. Don't forget to take a time out and have some alone time when travelling with others.
11. Don't always stay in the cheapest place, even though usually tempting... bed bugs and cockroaches really aren't fun.
12. Don't worry too much about money... there are always ways to make some more (and yes I mean legal ways).
13. Don't pass on the local food just because sometimes it might look a little scary.
14. Don't miss out on the hostel dorm experience.
15. Don't always stay in hostels... sometimes its nice to treat yourself to a bit of luxury (and in Asia a luxury hotel is only going to set you back about £8).
16. Don't spend all your money on alcohol. It might be tempting, but when you have to go home early because you've drunk your bank balance, I promise you'll regret it.
17. Don't forget to actually BE a tourist and see the sights you came for.
18. Don't stay in Vang Vieng for longer than a few days... tubing, alcohol and endless episodes of 'Friends'
is only fun for so long.
19. Don't underestimate how expensive it is to travel in Australia.
20. Don't miss out on the FeeJee Experience.
21. Don't expect everything to go right all the time. My motto is "the bad times make for the good stories".
22. Don't worry if you argue with your friends... travelling can be stressful and sometimes a big bust up is what you need to clear the air. You'll be back to being besties in no time.
23. Don't forget your passport!
24. Don't mess up your visas. Double-check everything!
25. Don't forget to reassure your parents that you are still alive every now and again.
26. Don't lose track of your funds. An online banking app is your new best friend.
27. Don't miss out on new friends just because you've been told your entire life to never talk to strangers
28. Don't forget to lock your door or put your valuables away in a locker.
29. Don't leave home without travel insurance.
30. Don't stay in your comfort zone. There's a whole world out there, just waiting for you to explore it.