Eating street food
This might end badly every once in a while. It's not 100 percent safe. But if you stick to the golden rules – eat at places that look popular; watch the food cooked in front of you – you'll find some of the best cuisine you've ever tasted being served on the streets. From Bangkok to Mumbai, Salvador to Mexico City, the tradition of simple, cheap, freshly cooked local food dished up by the side of the road is something that every traveller should embrace over and over again.
Travelling by train
Click-clack, click-clack… What's not to love about train travel? It's easy, it's efficient, it's comfortable, and it's romantic. Trains, for me, are the ultimate way to get around. You can sleep easily on a proper bed. You can chat to people from around the world. You can read a book, or drink a beer, or sit there by the window and watch life in another country go whizzing by. Some of the world's greatest journeys can be done by train.
Learning the local language
It's embarrassing, the first time you attempt to wrap your tongue around a foreign language. You think it'll almost be an insult to the local people when they hear your mangling of their beautiful words. But soon you realise that it's quite the opposite – your worst attempt at a simple "hello" and "thank you" is always better than nothing at all, and you'll find everyone is suddenly far more helpful and friendly when you try. It's a small amount of effort that goes a long way.
I realised the other day that for someone who's officially not a horsey person, I've done a lot of horse-riding. I've treated gee-gees to my special, inept brand of horsemanship in Argentina, Colombia, the US and South Africa. And I've come to love it. There's something traditional and natural about climbing on the back of a horse and going for a gentle trundle through beautiful countryside. It's both adventurous and relaxing. And it's far better than riding a camel.
(To be continued)