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Travel Etiquette

How to Blend in Somewhere You Stick Out

If you’re exploring a place where you don’t look like most of the other people, assume you’re doing this whole travel thing right. 

Everyone sticks out somewhere. If you’re exploring a place where you don’t look like most of the other people, assume you’re doing this whole travel thing right. But there are benefits to blending in, too, even when your height, hair or skin color, gender, or other physical traits set you apart. Because really, how you look is only the most obvious way you’re standing out. There are plenty of other things—clothing, body language, social codes—that can help you blend in more, even if no one is ever going to mistake you for a local.

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By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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