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Out and About – Week of October 6th

Last July, we spent a week in Canada attending a Lions Convention. I wrote a little about it, but recently discovered more information that I thought would be helpful to pass on to anyone planning to visit our neighbors to the north.

There are some Americans who do not appreciate having “foreigners” in our beloved country. If you are traveling in Canada, you are the “foreigner”. Canadians are quite hospitable, and we could probably learn a few things from them. While visiting Canada, behave, and don’t be labeled as an ugly American.

If you’re traveling on business and staying in a hotel, you’ll probably need to use one of the available luggage carts to get your bags to your room. It would be appreciated if you would return that cart to the lobby, because there’s a good chance that someone else might want to use it.

If traveling alone, it’s a good idea to make sure someone back home has a copy of your itinerary and phone contacts. It doesn’t hurt to phone or text someone back home periodically, just to let them know that everything is okay.

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling on business or not, hold on to all of your receipts. They might come in handy later.

While we were in Toronto, we stayed in a hotel where most of the other convention attendees also stayed. It’s very easy to forget that everyone in the hotel is not with your group. They have just as much right to being there as you. Don’t leave your good manners at home.

I mentioned in a previous column that you should always keep your passport with you. The customs agents might want to see it, whether you’re coming into Canada, or returning to the USA.

The Canadians like their currency, so leave it there. Don’t bring it home with you, unless you want to keep it as a souvenir. The US banks really don’t need or want to deal with it.

Finally, it doesn’t matter where you are traveling; if you are planning to be away from home for at least a week, and your entire family is traveling with you, have a neighbor keep an eye on your house. Have them be on the lookout for a moving van in your driveway. While away, pick up a small token of appreciation and present it to that neighbor when you return. It will be appreciated.

Ooops! Another final thing. It’s not a smart idea to broadcast your travel plans on any form of social media. The Boogeyman loves Facebook and is really interested in knowing when you’ll be away from home. He’ll keep an eye on your house for you, and when you return, you’ll have plenty of room for all the stuff you brought back with you, because he will have emptied your house of the many valuables you’ve accumulated over the years.

I didn’t mean to dictate how you should travel. I just thought you’d be interested in having an enjoyable time away. Should travel plans be in your future, have a great time and bring back terrific memories.

I’d like to add something to a column I wrote a while back. It had to do with “Hugging”. I mentioned that I enjoy hugging, as do a lot of my friends. What I’d like to mention is that not everyone enjoys hugging, so before you throw your arms around someone, you might want to ask their permission. There are grade school and high school teachers who would really like to hug a student, but they must always remember to ask for the student’s permission first. Back in the day, it wasn’t necessary to do that, but times have changed. Some for the good and some for the not-so-good. In any case, you might want to know that a ten-second hug lowers blood pressure by increasing the feel-good hormone oxytocin and lowering the stress chemical cortisol.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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