South America Living

How to Get over the Inevitable Bad Experience When Traveling Abroad

Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas, near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Whether your trip to South America is a week, four months or a year-plus covering one country or ten you are bound to rack-up a negative experience or two.

The taxi driver who manages to make off with one of your bags, pick-pocket pro who fanangles your camera (with full memory card) out of your backpack on the bus, hostel with no hot water and bed bugs hopping on the sheets who won’t refund your hard-earned travel cash.

How to get over it and continue on? Here are a few tips.     Map of South America

  1. Play the Numbers Game

    One bus driver is a jerk and has you wanting to explete expletives that have never before crossed your lips? Make yourself remember the 20-plus who have been helpful, gracious and got you safely from one destination to the next. There’s a bad actor (at minimum) in every crowd.

  2. Remember to Breathe

    When you get riled-up your nervous system does as well and sets-off all kinds of nasty chemical reactions in your body leading to symptoms such as: elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse and shallow breathing that puts you on the edge of hyperventilation.

    When over-stressed on the road or encountering a difficult, unexpected situation remember to breathe; deep full, slow breaths that fill your lungs to their peak capacity and provide your cells with all the oxygen they need to keep you calm.

  3. Look Ahead to Your Next Adventure
    Colombia didn´t meet-up to your ‘over-hyped via guidebook + tourism-promoting website’ expectations? File it in your “country to give a second chance on another trip” mental folder and get psyched to cross the border into Ecuador. Remind yourself of the reality that the more you travel, the more adept you’ll become at keeping an open-mind when visiting a foreign country regardless of what you have been told or read beforehand.

Most International visitors to South America will experience disappointment in one form or another during their travels. The trick is to get over it as quickly as possible and continue onward. To help you plan your trip check-out our travel guides with places to stay, eat & things to do. South America Travel Guides

Have a travel experience you’d like to share? Tips to help others make the most of their journey? Submit below or email us directly at: editor (at)

Thinking of moving to South America? Click here for your FREE Living in South America Guide

More Travel Health Articles:
Three Supplements to Take on the Road
Altitude Sickness – Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

The photograph at top of page is by Mariano. It is a ‘featured picture’ on Wikipedia and was selected as picture of the day for August 26, 2006.

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